A statement issued by Coleman’s group compliance manager, Lesley Quinn, said: “In recent weeks and days, the board of The Coleman Group have been continually monitoring the situation as it develops, in conjunction with our clients and supply chain. contingency planning in the eventuality of changes to government guidance or wholescale disruption to day to day operations. Our primary focus continues to be whether or not, as a business, we can legitimately safeguard the welfare of the public, our employees, their families, our contractors and clients, in light of the continued difficulty we face in relation to our ability to implement the necessary safeguarding measures required to comply with government guidance and our own assessment of risk. Many of these difficult considerations include:
- the differing approaches being taken by individual clients and contractors and the potential uncertainty and confusion this can generate;
- maintaining and enforcing practical social distancing measures both on our sites but also when travelling to and from work;
- safeguarding the welfare of persons with underlying and serious health conditions, which extends to family members they may be in close contact with, who are recognised as being at greater risk;
- maintaining cleaning regimes and basic personal hygiene practices where demand has increased for products such as hand sanitiser and cleaning products;
- the varying availability of basic supplies in local outlets and eateries but also the lack of availability of hotels for those working away from home, where key workers are being prioritised;
- a continued reliance on the use of public transport, and subsequent exposure to risk, where this remains the only means of getting to work;
- a rise in the number of cases requiring isolation across our sites and how this impacts the safe delivery of our works.
Therefore, on this basis, the board has taken the difficult decision to temporarily close all Coleman Group sites until further notice.”
The statement on the company's website goes on to detail procedures for ensuring that sites are made safe during the shutdown.