Coronavirus – our approach to restarting our works in your constituency
Dear Mr Blunt,
In March, following Government guidance, we paused all but emergency and safety-critical work on our gas network. During the coronavirus outbreak, your constituents have been relying on SGN more than ever to keep them safe and warm. Our key workers have continued to respond to gas emergencies and I am immensely proud of how our employees have risen to the challenges we’re facing.
As lockdown restrictions now begin to ease, we will be restarting some of our activities where it is safe to do so. Please be assured that we remain committed to protecting our customers, colleagues, and the communities we serve. I’d like to outline how we will ensure the safety of our customers and employees as we keep gas flowing to homes, hospitals, and businesses in your constituency.
We won’t be restarting all our work at once. We’re planning a controlled, phased approach to restarting these activities in line with evolving UK Government advice. This means that your constituents will start to see more of our operational teams in their streets and communities over the coming weeks.
Connecting customers to the gas network
With much of our new gas connections work taking place outside and on construction sites, we are restarting non-intrusive customer-facing work this week. Then next week, with appropriate risk assessments and a triage process in place, which will involve contacting customers before we arrive to ensure they are prepared for our engineers to enter their homes we will be recommencing customer-facing works, but in a safe and considered way.
Upgrading the gas network to maintain safe, reliable supplies
As part of our phased recovery, it’s important we also restart our health and safety approved gas mains replacement programme upgrading sections of our network that don’t involve us going into customers’ homes or interrupting their gas supply.
Classified as Internal
As the nation further recovers from the pandemic, we’ll start up projects where we need to access homes to upgrade individual gas pipes, as well as upgrading our gas mains in the street. We are planning to start this work from July.
Before we restart any activities, we will carry out extensive risk assessments to ensure we’re able to do the work while meeting all current coronavirus safety guidelines.
We will keep to social distancing guidelines on our sites and we will ask our customers to keep their distance too. When we need to visit customers’ homes, we’ll ask some extra questions before we do, such as:
• Is there anyone in your property with a confirmed case of coronavirus?
• Is there anyone in the property in self-isolation, on medical advice or following contact with someone who has the virus?
When we do need to access customers’ homes, when we arrive at a property, we will ask if customers can help us by:
• keeping a two-metre distance from our engineer when they arrive at their door
• asking everyone in the property to stay in a separate room from our engineer
• clearing space for us to access their gas meter if it’s housed in a cupboard indoors
We’ll be posting more information about when we’re restarting individual gas network upgrade projects on our Roadworks in your area page.
Thank you for your support
In the coming weeks, as we restart our work, we will be contacting residents and other local stakeholders to make them aware of our plans and explain why it is important we undertake these works now to maintain safe and secure supplies of gas in their area. We’ll also continue to share updates on our dedicated coronavirus webpage – www.sgn.co.uk/coronavirus - and on our social media channels.