Protecting Staff and partners during COVID-19

At Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe, Health and Safety is our core value. As such, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we have continued to uphold this value by being proactive and agile in prevention and mitigation of the impact of the pandemic on our business. The health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, contractors and all our stakeholders continues to be our priority.

 

Overarching aim and objectives

We aim to promote and safeguard the Health and Safety of our staff and partners, while proactively implementing actions to ensure the business does not suffer of inadequate planning or poor decision making.

Our objectives are:

  • Protect the health and wellbeing of our people, their families, our stakeholders through medical preparedness, awareness and training
  • Maintain business activities through continuity planning and proactive supply chain management
  • Protect and strengthen long term relationships with our partners and the communities in which we operate

The Business Resilience Team (BRT)

In early January 2020 we mobilized our local Business Resilience Teams to meet this challenge. This team comprises of our experts in HR, Health & Safety, Communications, Operations, Procurement, IT, Legal, Compliance, Security and Resilience. The Business Resilience teams work collaboratively to provide mitigatory measures, monitoring of the trend of the pandemic, guidance, advice and reporting on the preparedness of our company to our key stakeholders. We are preparing our response using a four alert level Trigger Action Response Plan (TARP), with specific actions at each deteriorating alert level. Our BRT is accountable to comply with the national health regulatory requirements and the execution of central guidance on a risk basis.  

We have put in place a range of measures to protect our teams and contribute to the containment of the disease. These measures include:

1. Sensitization

From as early as January, the business has been actively sharing information with employees and contractors on what COVID-19 through a multiple mix of platforms. This is with a view to promote awareness of the character and possible impact of the pandemic on personal health, social life and business performance. With adequate information on the pandemic, employees are conscientised on how to protect themselves from contracting and spreading coronavirus. Employees and stakeholders are kept updated on the latest developments of the pandemic locally and internationally, demystifying facts and sharing correct answers to Frequently Asked Questions. We strive to ensure that credible information timeously reaches our stakeholders.

2. Prevention

We have invested in materials and equipment to support the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. These include hand and facility sanitisers, face masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment. This has also been complemented with measures to promote social distancing which includes an alteration to canteen service, remote working and digital meeting options.

3. Screening

In the interest of protecting everyone who visits or resides within our premises, new controls of visitor screening and travel restrictions have been implemented. These include the enforcement of pre-visitor screening to encourage alternative methods of interaction as well as temperature checks for all persons entering our facility. Business travel has since been suspended since February and the same restrictions apply to visitors to our plant.

4. Support

Some of the measures being taken to manage the pandemic as well as the information that reaches us have taken an emotional and psychological toll on our stakeholders. In this time of distress, the business has put in place measures to fully equip the on-site medical facility with equipment to manage COVID-19 cases for employees and their families as part of the case management process leading up to national guidelines for isolation and treatment. Furthermore, through our mental wellness programme, we are constantly engaging our employees with messages of hope and inspiration as well as coping tips to inculcate resilience and positivity in the fight against COVID-19.

5. Fostering Resilience

A resilience program aimed at enhancing the capacity of staff to cope with the multiple challenges of living and working in an environment with Covid-19 has been put in place. The program focuses on addressing financial literacy and wellbeing, wellness (physical, mental, emotional & spiritual), providing psychosocial support and creating an enabling workplace.

All these measures have been added to our standing practices to enforce and incentivize Health & Safety and safe business practices in the face of the Corona-crisis. We are constantly monitoring and adapting our approach, carefully following developments as well as the instructions of local health authorities to help in every way we can.