COVID19 Letter | Roger Rusch – Managing Director
Dear valued clients and suppliers
On Sunday night President Ramaphosa declared South Africa in a National State of Disaster with regards to the Coronavirus (COVID19). Certainly, an encouraging move as drastic measures need to be taken and deployed with immediate effect. At the same time it puts us all in a difficult position as to how we now manage our daily lives, while at work and at home.
At IWC, we have a responsibility to protect our employees but also the interests of our customers and suppliers to ensure we continue to deliver a quality product and service. It’s a fine balance between the two and we would like to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to manage the situation. We would like to share with you the measures we have identified to mitigate risk in our organisation in consultation with key members of our staff.
We have appointed a working committee with representatives from various functional areas and operations to oversee and direct all our responses. The committee meets every 24 hours to ensure we are kept abreast of the unfolding situation.
Employee Health & Safety
Regular communication is being shared with all our employees with the objective of education and prevention. All employees working on the premises are provided with hand sanitiser and soap, and are instructed to wash their hands regularly to ensure hygiene standards are met. Employees are instructed to practice social distancing as regular as possible to prevent direct contact with other employees.
Many of our employees make use of public transport in order to get to and from work. Other options are not necessarily available so we cannot advise our employees against using public transport. We have however issued preventative measures and responsible guidelines to lessen the risk of contracting the virus. We communicate daily, reminding our employees using public transport not to engage with other passengers or to touch their faces and to wash their hands immediately, when arriving back home or arriving at work.
If and when the situation becomes untenable, we may have to review this position. We will keep you informed in this regard. Additionally, we have implemented a domestic and international travel ban for all IWC employees.
In order to limit direct exposure to the virus, we have instituted a “work from home” protocol where it makes sense, in order to reduce densities in our offices. This will allow us to honour our commitments to our employees, customers and suppliers. Some employees may need to report to the office to fulfil their duties, however the numbers will be managed and controlled. All meetings are advised to take place virtually, limiting face-to-face contact and to enable seamless ongoing communication.
Any employee who feels they may be experiencing symptoms of the virus are advised to contact https://sacoronavirus.co.za/ Department of Health Emergency Hotline: 0800 029 999 or the Department of Health WhatsApp Support Line: 0600 123 456.
Aged 60+ with co-morbidities
We are committed to ensuring that as far as possible, we implement plans to mitigate risk and ensure they are kept safe through social distancing.
We are operating under extraordinary circumstances, and there is likelihood of increased volatility over the next while. We are doing everything in our control to ensure we are able to operate and provide business continuity. At the moment we will have all available hands in the factory to complete any work on order and thereafter we will manage new orders on a “case by case” basis, based on the urgency of our customer’s needs. We are also working under the strict working guidelines as laid out in the Government Gazette.
All deliveries will follow a strict protocol which will include issuing our delivery staff with the necessary personal protective equipment which may include face mask, safety glasses and disposable gloves. There will also be hand sanitiser available for the delivery staff.
No visitors will be allowed onto the premises unless it’s an urgent delivery. All deliveries will be controlled via the main reception which has been equipped with hand sanitiser and the delivery person will be instructed to sanitise his/her hands before the delivery takes place. Any deliveries for the workshop must be controlled and managed by the workshop manager to ensure controlled movement of employees and delivery personnel.
Long term operations
Our management committee will continue to assess and manage the situation and stay abreast of any developments regarding the Coronavirus. At this point we are continuing with business as usual but we are aware that there will be long term challenges due to the economic climate but we cannot predict the long term outcome at this stage.
Please reach out to me with any questions you may have. I ask that we work together to get through this.