1 June 2020

H.E.L Group continues to respond to the fast-changing situation that the Covid-19 pandemic presents.

Our primary concern throughout the pandemic has been and continues to be, the safety and wellbeing of our team and our customers, extending out to the broader communities in which we live and work.  To that end, as a business with operations based around the world, we are continuing to follow the specific guidance provided by the individual governments.

We issued information on our pandemic response measures on 17th March 2020.  Since then, we have updated the actions we are taking to support our teams and our customers during these coming weeks and months.

Looking after our team

For all our staff, we are following the guidance issued by individual governments.  Most critically, relating to self-isolation, testing, and care for anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, or who has been in contact with someone who has developed the disease.

For our staff based at our offices and production facility, we have moved to home working.  Wherever possible, our staff are encouraged to work from home.  For a number of our team, this means 100% home working for the foreseeable future.  To enable this, we have fully embraced appropriate technology.  We also ensure that our team have safe and suitable work environments at home.  We also recognize the challenges in managing mental health and adapting to the new working regime and have activities in place to provide support for our team.

As a manufacturing company, some of our team members must be on-site at our production facilities.  To safeguard our staff while on-site, we are:

  • Ensuring that any work that can be done at home, is done at home.
  • Taking measures to physically and temporally distance staff from each other.
  • Implementing split working patterns that place fewer staff in the office at any given time.
  • Limiting the number of staff allowed in certain areas of the site at any one time.
  • Closing certain areas of the site and facilities, where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Implementing a one-way flow through the site, to make sure that a 2 m distance is observed between staff.
  • Issuing staff with personal supplies of sanitizers and face masks. Additional supplies are liberally distributed around the facility.
  • Providing plentiful cleaning and disinfecting suppliers to ensure that workstations are cleaned at the start of, and at the end of, every session they are in use.
  • Mandating that face masks are worn by everyone on site.
  • Providing face shields for situations where staff may need to work together in close proximity (although we first try and remove the need for the close proximity working)
  • Erecting shields between workstations where necessary

We have also taken the decision that we are currently not allowing any visitors on to the site for the foreseeable future.  For deliveries and shipments, we are arranging physically distanced handover of goods.

We are very proud that we have not had to reduce our staff levels during this time. Instead, we have expanded and continued to hire key staff during the pandemic, to fuel our future growth and scale-up.

Our field-based teams are still there to support our customers.  They will be provided with their own supplies of PPE for such times as on-site customer visits become possible.  Our field teams will also be confirming that customer risk assessments and safety preparedness actions make it safe to go onto customer sites.

In reality, we expect that due to travel restrictions and/or specific rules relating to customer sites, many of our customers would prefer to interact with us virtually, and we are set-up to support that.

Looking after our customers

We realize that in the current situation, ‘business as usual’ does not apply.  We also understand that our products and services have vital roles to play in medicine production and development, safety testing, and essential scientific research.  As such, we want to be able to support the work of our customers in those vital areas.  To enable us to continue supporting our customers, we have implemented our new working practices, and we are working closely with our suppliers to be sure that we can fulfill orders as smoothly and quickly as possible.

We have implemented more stringent cleaning and handling protocols in light of the current situation.  Our teams will be wearing disposable gloves while handling, packing and shipping products, we will also be disinfecting our work areas regularly and ensuring that we are cleaning systems before we ship them out.

We’re also aware that our customers may wish to use their own furlough activities to provide staff with additional training. Or that they maybe have questions about how to restart their laboratories after a shut-down period. To support that, we are offering remote, bespoke training services. Further information is available at https://www.helgroup.com/knowledge/training.

Service questions

If you have a service request, please contact us as usual – details can be found on this web page https://helgroup.com/contact/.  As well as online contact, you will find direct dial telephone numbers for all our offices.

If we are unable to visit your facility in-person (due to travel restrictions), we are continuing to offer remote telephone and video diagnostic and troubleshooting services.

Sales or product inquiry

Our sales teams are still here to help with any inquiries you have.  We expect that in many cases, our customers and our teams will want to have remote discussions by phone or video – we are fully set up for this, and if you would like a virtual/video product demonstration, please ask.  The best way to get in touch is via https://helgroup.com/contact/

We realize that the current situation is liable to rapid, significant change. We are keeping a very close watch on the circumstances and the relevant guidance.  We will keep updating our response via https://helgroup.com/newsroom.

All of us at H.E.L hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and well.

Louise Madden, CEO

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