COVID infection rates in Inverclyde have increased and the area now has one of the highest seven-day rates of cases per 100k people in Scotland. Given this position, plus concerns about the new variant of the virus, we have decided to suspend production at Ferguson Marine for one week to allow a comprehensive review of COVID measures, to ensure that the working environment at the yard continues to be as safe as possible.
Throughout the pandemic, Ferguson has complied with both the letter and spirit of Government guidance and has worked closely with Trades Union representatives to implement PPE and social distancing policies which protect workers. These include sanitising points, one-way systems, staggered shift and break times, additional break facilities, extensive use of screens, provision of anti-viral face coverings, toolbox talks to reinforce social distancing, and other measures. Together these measures have been effective, with only a single recorded case of in-yard transmission. As a result of the rapidly changing circumstances, it is however appropriate to review the measures currently in place, take stock of our learning since the restart of on-site work at the yard in June, and identify whether there are any additional ways to protect workers.
Production workers at both the Port Glasgow yard and Greenock warehouse will not be required to come to work this week and will be placed on special leave at full basic pay. Management and supervisors should come to work to support the review and any changes required. Most office-based employees are already working at home, but those who have been at the yard to support production should go to work as normal on Monday and where possible will be provided the resources to work from home for the rest of the week.
Production work will resume on Monday 18th January with briefings to advise employees of any changes to our COVID measures and to reinforce the need for personal responsibility in social distancing.