Paneltex Policy – COVID-19

Updated 1st October 2020

Updated in this revision:
• Self-isolation period increased to 10 days
• Cleaning of work areas and equipment
• Visitor Policy issued
• Wearing face coverings in vehicle if more than one person present
• Minimise noise in all areas to encourage social distancing and avoid aerosol transmission

1. Do you have symptoms or are you living with others who have symptoms?
• The primary symptoms are:
o A high temperature
o A new and continuous cough (for more than an hour, or 3 episodes in 24 hours)
o Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
• Do not come into work if you have any of these, ring your manager or supervisor from home.
• If you start with these symptoms whilst at work, inform your supervisor then leave site immediately and keep 2m from others. Supervision to inform HR, also inform the H&S Officer of areas and equipment that need to be disinfected.
• Book a test through HR for yourself and any household member with symptoms.

2. How long to stay at home?
• If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you’ll need to stay at home for at least 10 days and until they disappear.
• If you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms, this may be longer if you get the symptoms yourself.
• If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days. Or, if you have to stay together, try to keep apart.

3. If you’re at high risk
• The NHS will have already contacted you in March 2020 and given specific advice.

4. Advice on hygiene and social distancing
• Cough or sneeze into a tissue – catch it, bin it, kill it.
• Cough or sneeze into your sleeve if no tissue is available
• Wash your hands with soap and water often – for at least 20 seconds.
• Refer to the posters in Paneltex toilets regarding hand washing.
• Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
• Keep a minimum of 2m away from others, work facing away from others if this is not possible.
• Paneltex face coverings (‘masks’) are available from HR / H&S if requested
• Wear a face covering when in Company vehicles with other people

5. Off work self-isolating or with COVID-19 – what will I be paid?
• Contact HR or Payroll to confirm your SSP or pay entitlement
• Go online at and obtain an isolation note and email it to

6. Test and Trace
• If testing positive, you must let HR know the result immediately along with details of anyone you have been in contact with up to 48 hours previous to when you first got the symptoms.
• Contact is defined as:
o Having face to face contact with someone (less than 1 metre away)
o Spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
o Travelling in a car or similar vehicle with someone
• The NHS will be in touch to ask you the same questions.
• If your test result was negative, not started through known contact with a positive case and you have not had a fever for 48 hours then you can return to work even if you have a cough. If your household remain symptom free then they no longer need to self-isolate.

7. If you are contacted by Paneltex or the NHS – Positive test
• You will be contacted if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
• Self-isolate for 14 days from the time of last contact with the person who tested positive, you could become infectious at any point during this period.
• Your household does not need to self-isolate with you if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care with social distancing from you and extra hand washing.
• If you do develop symptoms, then other household members must begin 14 days self-isolation.
• If you develop symptoms then get tested; stay at home for at least 10 days if positive, if negative you must still complete the 14 days self-isolation.

8. Booking a test if no symptoms?
• The NHS advice is specific: ‘If you do not have symptoms, you must not seek a test, as the scientific evidence shows that the test may not be able to detect whether you have the virus’.

9. Cleaning of the workplace
• Additional daily sanitisation measures will be implemented in early October, application of Moore MedTech 1-03 by ULV Fogger to all surfaces and work equipment daily.
• Antibacterial wipes and sprays are available in all areas should they be deemed necessary in between fogging.

10. Visitor and Contractor Policy
• All must sign in and out at Reception and have a nominated host, further details in that Policy.

11. Noise must be minimised (including music)
• Everyone should minimise noise that may make normal conversation difficult (in turn compromising social distancing and creating aerosol transmission by shouting).

Paul Siddle – Group H&S Manager, 01.10.2020

To help companies understand the new risks of working together in different types of workplaces the government has produced a range of new guidance for employers in different industries, one of which is the motor industry. The Paneltex health and safety team has reviewed this with the Directors and we believe that we have been complying in full with all the new advice for some time already. In line with this, please see the latest versions of our coronavirus risk assessments for each Paneltex production site below. It is important that all staff, subcontractors, drivers making deliveries/collections and other visitors to site are aware of this and play your part in helping us to manage the new risks that coronavirus brings to our workplace.

LOCATION: Paneltex, Hull ASSESSOR: Craig Ross, Paul Siddle






1 Covid -19 Virus 1. All employees practice good hygiene at all times. With frequent hand washing with soap and water (20 secs) and/or hands sanitisers.

2. Employees are encouraged to wash hand more regular intervals

3. Employees are supplied 5-minute hands washing time prior to breaks

4. Adequate supply of soap and running water on site.

5. Supply of hand sanitiser gel

6. Avoid touching of eyes, nose or mouth

7. Information posters of correct hand washing and use of hand sanitisers in all toilets and hand sanitising stations

8. Mandatory hand washing signage in toilets

9. HM government hand washing posters on notice boards.

10. Toilets cleaned on a daily basis by Greens cleaning

11. Increased cleaning regime within whole factory and offices

12. Covid 19 cleaning plan in place.

13. All Physical contact is avoided where possible.

14. Social distancing is practiced where possible (2 metre).

15. Where possible operatives work side-by-side or facing away from each other where distancing is not possible

16. Social Distancing signage placed in various key locations of site

17. Home working has been implemented where possible.

18. Where possible video conferencing is used to reduce in-person meetings

19. Staff have been moved into separate units minimise number of people needed in specific areas

20. Staggering arrival, departure and break times.

21. Non-essential trips reduced by use of company supplied mobile phones and two-way radios

22. Installation protective screen for canteen staff

23. Reconfiguring seating and tables in canteens to maintain two metre social distancing.

24. Cough etiquette is followed at all times

25. Used tissues placed are to be placed in bins provided.

26. Vulnerable or shielding are encouraged to stay at home.

27. If any person is unwell or experiencing flu like symptoms, they are not permitted entry to site.

28. If employee develops flu like symptoms, they shall immediately leave site, self-isolate and follow NHS advice and contact their line supervisor

29. Company is to follow regularly updates via the NHS Website and Government Instruction – Advice and guidance is followed. (Working safely during COVID-19 in factories, plants and warehouses 11 May 2020)

2 Health and Wellbeing 1. Monitor and support wellbeing of people who are working from home

2. Two mental health first aiders on site

3 Coronavirus spread 1. Full compliance with GOV.UK – NHS test and trace: how it works, published 27 May 2020

2. Test and trace incorporated in the Paneltex Policy – COVID-19 document and copied to all employees.

3. The implementation of a trace process at Paneltex, in order that there is no unnecessary delay informing contacts to isolate.


LOCATION: Paneltex Martrans ASSESSOR: Paul Siddle (and others named below)
ASSESSMENT DATE: 01.10.2020 COMPANY POSITION: Health and Safety Manager





Covid-19 Virus 1. Thinking about risk

This document ensures that the risks to workers and visitors from COVID-19 are minimised through all reasonably practicable actions.

1.1   Managing Risk

This risk assessment, along with the Paneltex COVID-19 Policy ensures that:

  • Workers and visitors who display symptoms stay at home and do not enter the premises.
  • Handwashing and surface cleaning have been increased.
  • All persons are making every reasonable effort to ensure 2m distancing is followed and home working is adopted where appropriate.
  • Fixed teams are achieved through the relocating of people across the KIBP site units and with a Meetings Policy which promotes video conferencing.
  • Music previously played in the workplace has been turned off for the duration of the COVID-19 control measures, reducing the potential to breach social distancing or to shout and risk aerosol transmission.
  • People who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and were initially shielding, can consider working from home.
  • If the employee cannot work from home, government guidelines will be adhered to within the workplace so they can return to work. Paneltex will make sure suitable arrangements are in place.
  • The employee can get a shielding note to give to Paneltex from their GP.
  • The Directors and H&S Manager meet regularly, and with the employee H&S representative, in order to make sure that all latest HM Government advice has been considered and that this assessment of risk in the workplace remains current.

1.2 Sharing the results of this risk assessment

This risk assessment is published on the Paneltex website and emailed to all employees through the personal email group. The Managing Director sends out specific communications through the same email group when there are significant changes to inform the employees about. Key manager and supervisors have attended briefing seminars on the COVID-19 Policy run by the H&S Manager.

2. Who should go to work?

Paneltex has office workers spread across a large number of office facilities on site. Additional offices have been leased since the pandemic began and social distancing is fully complied with. The nature of the business means that there are few if any roles who can effectively work from home. However, all reasonable requests to work from home are considered.

2.1 Protecting people who are at higher risk

The employee can get a shielding note to give to Paneltex from their GP in order to review the option to work from home where appropriate.

2.2 People who need to self-isolate

The Paneltex COVID-19 Policy makes clear to individuals that they must not come to work if they, or someone who they are living with, have symptoms, and the number of days to do so.

2.3 Equality

Paneltex does not discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as age, sex, disability, race or ethnicity.

2.4 Ventilation

Offices have windows which open to the outside and should be opened when possible.

Social distancing for workers

2m distancing is required throughout the business, floor decals have been placed in all Units, Canteen and Smoking Shelters to remind individuals of this.

Offices, kitchens etc. have been assessed and Maximum Occupancy signs are clearly displayed on the doors.

On occasion there will be some factory tasks that require people to be less than 2m distance and the following mitigating actions should be used when practicable:

  • Paneltex face coverings worn.
  • Further increase the frequency of hand washing and sanitising.
  • Keep the activity time as short as possible.
  • Avoid face-to-face working – work side-to-side or back-to-back.
  • Fixed teams or partnering to reduce the number of people each person has contact with.

3.1 Coming to work and leaving work

Work is done in a number of factory and office units across the site. Factory operatives’ clock in and out of work using newly installed facial recognition time clocks, eliminating the need for contact.

3.2 Moving around buildings and worksites

Signs have been displayed at entrances to remind people not to enter if they can communicate by other means, i.e. email or phone. Meetings are discouraged and the use of video conferencing encouraged – see Meetings Policy. Hand sanitiser dispensers are located at multiple points in all Units.

3.3 Workplaces and workstations

Workstations allow for 2m social distancing wherever possible and the mitigating actions in Point 3 above should be applied if the 2m is not possible.

Consistent pairing should be applied for any activities that require two persons.

3.4 Meetings

Meetings are discouraged and the use of ‘Teams’ video conferencing encouraged – see Meetings Policy. Hand sanitiser dispensers are located at multiple points in all Units and should be used. 2m social distancing in meeting rooms must be applied and windows opened if the room does not have air-conditioning. Maximum Occupancy signs are displayed and must be observed.

3.5 Common areas

Social distancing must also be maintained in common areas.

3.6 Accidents, security and other incidents

Face coverings are available for first aiders and they should pay particular attention to hand washing and sanitisation afterwards.

As a general guideline, people do not have to comply with social distancing guidelines if it would be unsafe to do so, for example during fire evacuation.

Managing customers, visitors and contractors

Visits are to be avoided, but where they are necessary then certain measures should be followed and are communicated to visitors through the following, see ‘Paneltex Policy – COVID-19 – Visitors & Contractors’.

Cleaning the workplace

5.1 Before reopening

In the event that the site or any production area has been temporarily closed due to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, a clean will be conducted in accordance with ‘TBT PS001 Covid Cleaning Procedure’.

5.2 Keeping the workplace clean

A more frequent cleaning regime has been implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the regular cleaning and sanitisation of frequent touch points such as door handles and meeting room tables etc.

Additional sanitisation measures are to be implemented by 19.10.20 through the application of Moore MedTech 1-03 sanitiser by ULV Fogger to all surfaces, work equipment and vehicles daily. Antibacterial wipes and sprays are available in all work areas for application by employees should it be deemed necessary in between fogging.

5.3 Hygiene – handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets

Signs are placed in toilets to remind people of handwashing and the correct method of doing this. Hand sanitiser is available at multiple points around the site, particularly at entrances.

The services of Pure Water professional cleaners has been engaged to ensure that all toilets and non-factory areas are cleaned to the correct standard and required frequency.

5.4 Changing rooms

Changing rooms are regularly cleaned and social distancing must also be observed by those using these areas.

5.5 Handling goods, materials and onsite vehicles

This is covered by the ‘Paneltex Policy COVID-19 – Visitors & Contractors’.

6 PPE and face coverings

PPE is not required in order to protect against COVID-19 at Paneltex for work activities, though it has been provided to cleaners as part of the procedures for cleaning work areas after a suspected or positive case. Paneltex-branded face coverings have been made available to all employees should they wish to use one, the document ‘Paneltex Branded Face Covering – Instructions’ makes clear the correct practice for wearing them.

Workforce management

7.1 Shift patterns and outbreaks

As far as possible, workers are split into teams and shift groups, these are further split by separate building units across the site. Records of who is working on which shift are kept for more than the 21 days required by NHS Test and Trace.

In the event of a suspected outbreak in the workplace, there is a single point of contact at Paneltex who will contact the following authorities to report it:

(Paul Siddle, H&S Manager – Mobile 07834 025207)

Public Health England

PHE North Yorkshire and the Humber Health Protection Team,
Block 2 The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), Sand Hutton,
YO41 1LZ

Phone: 0114 304 9843

Hull City Council

Contact Hull City Council Public Protection Team by sending an email to foodandhealth&


RIDDOR report online.

Any decision by the above authorities to take action affecting Paneltex operations must be made in conjunction with the Managing Director:

(Chris Berridge, Managing Director – 01482 787236)

7.2 Work-related travel

Unnecessary work-related travel must be avoided. When necessary, the number of people in a vehicle from outside of your household should be minimised. All must wear face coverings where more than one person is present.

Drivers collecting finished vehicles should not enter the building and the associated exchange of documentation has been minimised.

7.3 Communications

The group risk assessment is displayed on the Paneltex website and has also been copied to all employees through the personal email group, along with related message from the Managing Director.

The ‘Paneltex Policy – COVID-19’ is displayed on noticeboards and again is copied through the email group when changes are made.

The Policy and the requirement for it has been communicated in seminars to key managers and supervisors by the H&S Manager, recognising that their diligence is vital in ensuring full compliance by all employees.

Martrans has two employee representatives, they help formulate the risk assessment, as well as communicate it and ensure ongoing compliance.

Inbound and outbound goods

Social distancing should be maintained during deliveries and drivers are encouraged to stay in their vehicles where this does not compromise their safety. Details can be found in the ‘Paneltex Policy – COVID-19 – Visitors and Contractors’.

Compliance with HM Government ‘Working safely during COVID-19 in factories, plants and warehouses’.

This revision was rewritten to align with the above document, it follows the structure and all content, ensuring control measures follow the latest guidance.


This risk assessment has been completed in conjunction with the following management representatives:

–       Chris Berridge

–       Keith Drake

–       Robin Atkinson

–       Paula Hulme

–       Morris Abbott


The risk assessment has also been completed in consultation with the following employee representatives:

–       Rob Maltby

–       Gary Barlow


2 Health and Wellbeing 1. Monitor and support wellbeing of people who are working from home

2. Two mental health first aiders on site

3 Coronavirus spread 1. Test and trace are incorporated in the Paneltex Policy – COVID-19 document and copied to all employees.

2. The implementation of a trace process at Paneltex, in order that there is no unnecessary delay informing contacts to isolate.


LOCATION: Paneltex Somers, Long Stratton ASSESSOR: Russell Cooper, Paul Siddle
ASSESSMENT DATE: 15.05.2020 COMPANY POSITION: General Manager, H&S Team








1 COVID -19 Virus infection which can potentially result in serious illness or death of employee or transmission to others and their serious illness or death.




1. Since the outbreak of the virus, the Group H&S team have been keeping management informed of the latest Government, NHS and HSE guidance.

2. The Directors meet regularly to review this advice, discuss the impact on the business and ensure the risk assessment reflects this and the Paneltex Covid-19 Policy updated accordingly.

3. Employees are kept informed regularly through messages from the Managing Director, sent to all employees’ personal email addresses on a group email, set up in response to the virus.

4. Home working has been encouraged and implemented where possible.

5. Cohorting of employees into groups to increase social distancing and the potential for chain of contact reduced, including moving office staff into available offices across the site.

6. Times when employees arrive, leave and take breaks have been assessed and existing arrangements have already minimised social distancing and contact.

7. Vulnerable people having NHS instruction letters or shielding to protect family members have been assessed by the HR Officer and arrangements have been made for them to stay at home where appropriate.

8. If any person is experiencing NHS 111 defined Covid-19 like symptoms, they must not attend work, or if it starts at work must leave immediately. They must follow the NHS rules for self-isolation, along with family members (and the same in response to their symptoms).

9. If employee develops symptoms, they must immediately leave site, self-isolate and follow NHS advice and contact their line supervisor

10. Compliance with the Paneltex Policy Covid-19 is mandatory and will (and has already) result in disciplinary action if not complied with.

11. The requirement for hourly paid employees to clock on and off using hand scanners has been eliminated in response to the virus, instead recording attendance on timesheets.

12. As ‘Key Workers’, Paneltex has registered for priority government Covid-19 testing and employees are encouraged to use this facility if they are at home with symptoms – tests are booked through the HR Officer.

13. Social distancing is promoted by the positioning of ‘2m Distance’ floor stickers in all buildings on site. Employees are encouraged to report any production process where this is not being achieved so alternatives can be evaluated.

14. If after assessment the 2m distancing cannot be achieved on certain processes, operatives are encouraged to work side-by-side or facing away from each other.

15. Non-essential trips have been eliminated, very few now take place, replaced by video conferencing (the Company has invested in Microsoft Teams in response to the virus).

16. Meetings are only held if the use of email and phone calls is not sufficient.

17. The Somers conference room is to be used by a max of 3 people at anyone time. The window is opened to allow for fresh air circulation.

18. The rest areas have been reconfigured to keep the 2m distancing.

19. Toilets are cleaned to a high standard on a regular daily basis by Minster Cleaning, who were engaged in response to the virus.

20. The cleaning regime for the offices, kitchen, canteen areas and factory units has been increased and done daily to a documented plan.

21. Physical contact is avoided where possible, particularly with delivery drivers from outside of the business.

22. Greetings involving handshakes (or hugs?) have been discontinued.

23. All employees are encouraged to practice good hygiene at all times, with frequent hand washing using soap and water (20 secs) and/or hands sanitisers.

24. Employees are encouraged to wash hands at more regular intervals, particularly when moving between different buildings on site.

25. Mandatory hand washing signage in toilets.

26. Employees are allowed adequate time for hand washing time throughout the day and are encouraged to do so.

27. Information posters of correct hand washing and use of hand sanitisers in all toilets and hand sanitising stations

28. Adequate supply of soap and running water on site.

29. Supply of hand sanitiser gel in all units on site and in reception.

30. Posters around the site reminding employees to avoid touching of eyes, nose or mouth

31. Covid 19 cleaning plan in place for the event that an employee starts symptoms at work and their workplace has to be disinfected.

32. Employees informed about cough etiquette to be followed at all times and used tissues to be placed in the bins provided.

33. Wearing a face covering is optional and is not currently required by law, including the workplace. If employees choose to wear one it is important to:

  • Wash hands before putting the covering on and when taking it off.
  • When wearing, avoid touching your face as it could contaminate the covering with germs.
  • Change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it.
  • Wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions.




2 Health and Wellbeing 1. Managers monitor the wellbeing of people who are working from home and support their needs


(For further information please refer to RISK ASSESSMENT MATRIX)