We took a moment to speak with Tony Jester to seek his views on the current coronavirus crisis and its wide-reaching impact across our business.
How do you think we are responding to our clients’ needs during these challenging times Tony?
Everyone one of the team is doing an amazing job. As they say; “its circumstances like these, that brings out the best in everyone.” The vast majority of our clients manage what I would call ‘critical human infrastructure’ assets which provide services of national significance such electricity, fuel and water and keeping those plants running is essential. The Altrad team, as you’d expect, have all stepped up to play their part in that, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Are there heartwarming story’s you can share?
Lots. They are happening every day. I am immensely proud of our team at Altrad, who continue to work to their best ability to support our clients. As they say “the “blitz” spirit brings out the best in everyone.” I think the media are really good at showing us when they find the worst examples of human behaviour, but lets us keep focused on the best.
We were contacted by the local trauma centre and asked to help with face-fit testing for all the new volunteers, so they can wear their PPE when they start work safely. We were delighted to support this initiative and for the last 2 months a member of the Altrad team has been based in the Trauma Centre carrying out testing of NHS staff and volunteers daily. This is in addition to the van loads of PPE we have collected and distributed to local NHS hubs around the UK. We should all do our bit for the services such as the NHS, after all, we owe them a huge debt of gratitude for their work at this time.
How are our teams continuing to operate?
Almost every site we work on in the UK, Ireland and Norway is still operational and every client is doing their best, ensuring we protect people’s health whilst also maintaining safe operations.
I recognise it must place a huge burden on those identified as critical workers when they see others stay home with families and friends, when furloughed. I want to personally thank each and every one of them for their ongoing commitment and support. We will do everything practically possible to keep them supported and ensure their work environment is safe and to work with our customers in ensuring the critically important infrastructure that makes our daily lives possible is maintained and operational
What do the next few months look like?
A number of our clients are now transitioning away from what was a “lock-down” phase to a “preparing for work” phase. In conjunction with our clients, we are developing these plans to enable our operations resuming, whilst ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our people.
To support these activities, we have just launched a new Altrad “working with COVID-19” induction video, which will be shown to all employees upon returning to work, which highlights many of the measures we adopting to ensure we can operate safely.
We anticipate re-engaging with many of staff who are currently “furloughed” during the coming weeks and months, and are looking forward to seeing them return to work.
Do you have any closing thoughts?
I am extremely proud of how we have reacted to the current crisis. We have maintained a strong, proactive approach throughout this period, to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees whilst also preserving job security.
I want to take this opportunity to recognise all the hard work and dedication of our teams. I see first-hand, the challenges our people are overcoming as result of the pandemic, so thank you for going over and above the call of duty, every day,
To a great team – thank you most sincerely.