The reaffirmation comes in the wake of a rise in coronavirus cases across the UK, some regional lockdowns and as more people are being encouraged to return to their workplaces.
From the very start of the pandemic, the energy industry has worked with its workers, contractors and trade unions to implement safe working practices.
The stakeholders will all continue to keep their approach under watch and review as the government continues to develop its guidance and response to the crisis.
David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses, said:
“The energy networks continue to put colleagues and customers at the heart of their COVID-19 response. We are constantly reviewing our plans to make sure we continue to provide the best possible service, especially to those who need extra help.
“We will carry on working with our colleagues and trades unions to keep people safe, protect those most in need and keep your energy flowing.”
The energy industry and unions are mindful that as lockdown restrictions are eased in some places, there will also be the possibility of local lockdowns elsewhere and that continued vigilance is required.
Appropriate safety measures will include:
- Revising and implementing procedures based on joint learning from experience gained since the start of the pandemic.
- Continuing to ensure any new or revised procedures provide customers with the best possible service.
- Working with the National HESAC and across the whole energy industry to pre-empt and prepare for any potential spikes in infections to ensure that colleagues and the public have confidence that the essential services they rely on will continue to be provided safely.
- Reviewing existing COVID-19 risk assessments with trades union health and safety representatives. Any changes to the assessments will be shared with energy industry and contractors, demonstrating transparency and ensuring they are easily accessible.
Sue Ferns, Senior Deputy General Secretary of Prospect said:
“By working together and focusing on detailed changes to make work COVID-secure, the companies and unions have ensured that we have maintained high safety standards and service to customers.”
She added: “Trade union safety representatives have played a key role and their work will be even more vital during the challenging times ahead."