Highways fleet and services company Multevo has won praise for its approach to COVID-19, providing extensive and detailed guidance straight to phones through a bespoke app.
The Multevo app and its COVID-19 toolbox talks have helped keep the company a community while separated during the COVID-19 crisis, but it has also helped establish new safety protocols and specific shielding policies for vulnerable staff.
Highways staff have been designated key workers and asked by government to keep operating throughout the crisis. In doing so they have faced many challenges in terms of health and safety, operational and supply barriers and sometimes even resistance from the public.
The way Multevo opened up lines of communication has provided staff with advice on all aspects of the key worker challenge and provided a good practice benchmark that could inform its business practice for years to come.
Having already faced a difficult start to the year battling flooding in February through its winter service division, Multevo went into emergency mode early and effectively in response to the coronavirus crisis.
On March 13, Multevo delivered its first toolbox talk on COVID-19 through its company app and on 17 March all staff were asked to start working from home if they could.
It implemented a work-from-home policy for all office staff and subsequently separated on-site engineers working stations to self-contained bays; while issuing advice to external mobile engineers.
On March 20, still three days before the national lockdown, Multevo staff received a health questionnaire via the Multevo app to establish who the vulnerable workers were, or workers who had vulnerable people in their household, to enable the company to start shielding them.
From March 26, staff started receiving new notifications and daily checks-ups that include key safety and operational information such as advice on stock levels for sanitation products and other new safety procedures.
On March 27, Multevo sent a letter to all staff reminding employees of the government guidelines.
It has now put in place a range of best practice policies and protocols that provide protection against the spread of the coronavirus. These include a one-person per vehicle policy wherever possible, staggered breaks and eating arrangement, dedicated sanitation vehicles, advice on effective PPE and sadly, but necessarily, guidance on how to deal with any public confrontations.
'Our main responsibility is to our workforce, their families and the members of the public they may come into contact with, so first and foremost that is our priority, everything we do starts there,' said Nick Leadley, Multevo director.
A Multevo spokesman added: 'We have had a great amount of positive feedback in the steps we are taking to support our customers maintain the network.'
In a statement, the company said: 'We are giving our #highwaysheroes the option to continue working following guidance from government, industry associations and our customers – who need our support to meet their duty to maintain the highways network in as safe a condition as practically possible.
'Our in-house highways teams and sub-contractors working outside on critical infrastructure tasks, such as emergency pothole repairs and patching, will continue to work with strict social distancing and safety precautions in place with the support of social-distancing site-supervisors.
'In addition, all our outside workers who continue to operate to maintain Britain’s roads have been issued the latest COVID-19 Toolbox Talk via our Multevo app to undertake each day while we monitor the situation. We trust these measures are in the best interests of all our stakeholders, providing protection and stability to those who rely on us for work whilst keeping our commitment to customers.
'To combat the devastating deterioration of our country’s road network and the inevitable impact to these key workers, Multevo will continue to deliver our highway repair services as well as helping to keep customer machines delivering vital services functional in accordance with the latest central and local government guidelines.'
Originally renowned as Multihog UK, Multevo rebranded in March 2018 and is celebrating its tenth birthday this year having built up an impressive reputation and client base in a short space of time. The firm has worked with a third of all UK councils.
Since 2010, the Lancashire-based firm has experienced year-on-year growth and worked with some of the UK’s largest private and public-sector organisations.
Multevo best practice measures:
- Sanitation only vehicles on all sites
- Additional PPE, hand sanitiser and safety accessories
- Staggered breaks & eating arrangments
- One person one vehicle
- Multevo app – daily COVID-19 toolbox talk
- Daily vehicle / tool decontamination
- Operative social distancing body sensor (trial)
- Low risk opt in workers only
- Critical worker signage for public perception
- Social distancing supervisor visits
- Multevo app - weekly client audit report
Find out more at Multevo's website.