3 brand logos - access, abacus, gainsborough

Dear valued customers and partners,

I wanted to update you personally on our recent reinforcement of our already strictly enforced health & safety practice. This document covers any of our three trading brands above – Access, Abacus and Gainsborough Specialist Bathrooms.

Duty of Care is, and has always been, our most important brand promise. This goes both for our dedicated staff as well as our highly valued customers. Over the last few days, we have reinforced our already tight safety protocol as per below:

washing hands with soap in sink

Field based staff (Field Service Engineers and Sales Managers)

  • Before undertaking any visits, we shall verify with the customer if anyone within the premises have or are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. We are proactively contacting customers before both sales and service calls to verify safe access.
  • In addition to this, we kindly ask customers to proactively let us know if access is prohibited for service calls. Any aborted calls where access is not possible and not advised in advance, will be chargeable. We urge our customers to work with us proactively, to ensure our Engineers are available to do critical work for as many customers as possible.
  • Before entering customers’ property, GHG staff are instructed to sanitise. All field-based staff are equipped with appropriate sanitising products for this purpose. GHG staff will confirm with customers’ staff that this routine has been performed before entrance. In addition, instruction to hand sanitise frequently while on site.
  • Any additional hygiene requirements as defined by customers’ will be complied with by GHG staff.
  • All bathing, hoisting, toilet equipment will be wiped down/cleaned before any activity is undertaken. (Assessment, installation, break-fix, LOLER inspection etc.).
  • All bathing, hoisting, toilet equipment will be wiped down/cleaned after any activity is undertaken. (Assessment, installation, break-fix, LOLER inspection etc.).
  • Instruction to change Nitrile gloves and disposable overshoes when torn or contaminated.
  • Instruction to limit surfaces touched within site environment.
  • Instruction to ensure hand decontamination after removing gloves and immediately upon removal of PPE.
  • Remove all relevant PPE before leaving work area.
  • Collect all/any resulting waste PPE and cleaning material and secure in waste bag, removing carefully from both designated work area and site premises for disposal through safe management.
  • GHG engineers are instructed to sign off on completed installation and repair work on behalf of, and in presence of customer’s representative. Signature will be made together with clear mentioning of customer representative’s name, title and contact details. GHG engineers are asked to take photographs of the sign-off protocol when possible/appropriate.
  • GHG staff are instructed to sanitise after leaving the residence. This includes cleaning of vans/cars with a specific focus on steering wheels, gear knobs, dashboard controls etc.
  • Regular cleaning of vans/cars.

GHG Head Office and Factory

  • All GHG staff are instructed to act according to the advice from Public Health England, NHS and UK Government.
  • Currently we have no reported positive COVID-19 infections within our organisation and are maintaining a high degree of daily vigilance with regards to our workforce and working practices.
  • Staff-only access to our sites enforced since 9th March 2020. All meetings with suppliers and partners held as phone conferences.
  • Staff work spaces have been reorganised to secure safe working distance at both sites.
  • Staff who undertakes work that can be done remotely are equipped and instructed to be able to work from home.
  • Continued strict protocol for use of hand sanitiser before entering/leaving manufacturing, QC and despatch areas.
  • Reinforced protocol for collection-only procedure. No drivers/hauliers’ staff are allowed access to our buildings without prior arranged appointment. POD’s and receipt of goods procedure completed under strict prior and subsequent hand sanitising.
  • Extra cleaning frequency on a daily basis with multipoint surfaces (door handles, light switches) – both at our factory as well as in our head office.
  • All baths undergo a fully simulated function test including a water test. The water test area has the following criteria:
    •  Hot water is supplied by a dedicated boiler which is separate to the rest of the manufacturing facilities.
    • Hot water stored at a minimum of 600C and a daily test and record is kept.
    • Water test area is kept sanitised by use of sterilising fluid and/or tablets and is tested/recorded on a weekly basis. Chlorine level at or above 2.0ppm.
    • Water is changed on a weekly basis and recorded.
  • All products are cleaned with alcoholic detergent prior to being packaged.
  • Our logistics (bath delivery) partner Bishopsgate, have implemented a thorough disinfection protocol of PDA’s and other equipment at the point of delivery of baths to site. All delivery staff are equipped with hand sanitiser and clear instruction to use these when soap and water is not accessible.

Disruption to installation of baths – the dialogue is important!

We appreciate that some installation work is being disrupted at our customer’s end due to COVID-19 impact. In order to ensure as accurate an installation service to our customers as possible, we have increased our routine of daily phone contact to customers who are due for an installation.

It is hugely important for both our customers and ourselves, that we can rely on the agreements/appointments made with regards to when a bath is to be installed.

In case we are not notified at least 48 hours in advance of delivery/installation of a bath – abortive charges will apply (as per our T&C’s). Also, if a bath installation is being postponed by more than 1-2 weeks, we reserve the right to reallocate the bath to other customers. A replacement bath will then have to be planned into new production and with our standard lead times.

In case reallocation is not possible, weekly stock charges will apply.

Manufacture lead times

Supply Chain: With regards to stock, we have sufficient stock levels on all our main components, and as of now, our supply partners in UK/Europe are running business as normal. Our exposure to Far East supplies remains limited so we are currently in a good position. It should be noted that at this point in time orders are being processed as normal. We are however reviewing our overall demand and stocking policy on a daily basis to ensure we maintain and protect a resilient base for our customers during this period of uncertainty.

In anticipation of a certain impact to our order intake, we have put measures in place with our suppliers to reduce our inventory exposure in order to protect our business.

This will likely mean that we will see an increase in lead times for certain baths over the coming weeks and months. We therefore urge our customers to be in close dialogue with us with regards to critical bath deliveries so that we can prioritise production, deliveries and installations for the most vulnerable bathers.

Please rest assured that my entire, dedicated workforce and me are 100% determined to ride the COVID-19 storm and remain in place as a professional, stable supplier to all of our highly valued customers.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Peter Eckhardt