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CHH Conex Limited: A manufacturing and supply firm is using a simple but effective plan to keep staff safe

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The Birmingham-based company, which manufactures cable assemblies, integrates electronics into enclosures and supplies engineer components and tooling, has been primarily focused on distributing Personal Protective Equipment for emergency engineers during the pandemic. It has followed government advice and used a mixture of clear communication with staff to maintain a healthy workforce.

CHH employee working with machine

Tim Hughes, Managing Director at CHH Conex Limited, said:

We are very fortunate to have a fantastic team of 60 at CHH and we place great importance on regular and two-way communication – critical at a time like this. We have seen a 50% reduction in our sales since the start of the lockdown so have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough some of our workers and our HR Manager is in regular contact with everyone on the scheme to check on their welfare.

We keep the whole team informed about where we are, and what we plan to do as a business, and they have been brilliant as usual, in playing their part, including developing their own ideas. Using a simple but effective approach, we are managing the situation and everyone has remained healthy.

Key principles CHH has introduced are:

  • identifying work functions that can be performed offsite and setting up staff to do this fully from home
  • vulnerable team members identified and shielded
  • social distancing within the building, minimising people’s movement between areas
  • handwashing locations around the site, as well as promoting regular handwashing
  • offsite and visitor meetings changed to virtual video meetings or phone calls
  • daily contact with department heads to assess team welfare, and weekly discussions on workloads and staffing level
  • a gradual and carefully thought-out furlough process to best manage staff concerns about their welfare and job protection.

Mr Hughes continued:

This approach is working for us and some of the new processes have been so effective that we will adopt them going forward, but we are taking nothing for granted. We keep our plans under review and are continuing to do what we believe are the right things.

The government has published COVID-19 secure guidance to support businesses to reopen and for workers to feel confident, safe and empowered to return to work.

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