The new normal?
Furloughed or full-time everyone is keeping busy!
Following on from our April news the management team at Storm have spent May ensuring all the office and site proceedures are now Covid 19 safe and this has enabled staff to commence a phased return to operations.
During May, Storm have surveyed two interesting and diverse projects. A client contacted the company prior to the lock down and requested a quotation for a channel and topographical survey in the Didcot area of Oxfordshire. The purpose of this project is to aid a major infrastructure project, Storm’s team carried out specialised boat survey work on part of the river Thames. This project was a good example of Storm’s new approach to the four criteria required to enable mobilisation of site work. All Land Owner access was granted via a desk top study with relevant RAMS being produced and accepted in advance, ensuring the team of surveyors were able to carry out this project without any Covid 19 related issues delaying their progress.
The second project on the River Chelmer in Essex added another of the four criteria into the mix - accommodation. The Opendoors UK portal, allows essential workers to book Covid safe hotels which are opening up all over the country. The scorching sunny weather was a welcome sight for surveyors Toby, Mark & Sam who ventured to Essex for Storm’s first ‘stay away’ job since the lockdown easing measures began. Lead surveyor, Toby, had this to say:
“What a brilliant week we had for my first project back on site. We utilised Storm’s dynamic Covid-19 policies to observe social distancing and stay safe at the office, site and hotel – I have to say, it was very easy to socially distance ourselves on site whilst the specially opened hotel for essential workers was immaculate.
The job involved a detailed channel survey over 2km of the River Chelmer, Essex, and included the survey of several mill runs and hydraulic structures. We used a three man boat team to collect both hard and soft bed channel data to Environment Agency specifications. The data collected will be used to inform flood modelling for the area and for a variety of environmental and commercial purposes. The job went extremely well and we were able to deliver several days early. It’s good to be back.”
The remainder of Storm employees remaining on the government furlough scheme are still very much part of the tight knit family and keep in regular contact for updates and sometimes virtual social meetings with a beer or two! What a busy lot they have been using their Furlough time to learn new skills and for some advance their C ADS competence qualifications. Survey Manager Mark Kieras who is a review examiner for the ADS scheme is mentor to Storm’s applicants and they are able to benefit from his vast knowledge and experience. Mark has been using his time during furlough to home school his youngest son Toby, and they have together designed and made some impressive garden structures to use on their allotment.
Office manager Britt has also been busy re vamping her vintage caravan and rediscovering forgotten skills to create soft furnishings for it. Along with this Britt has taken advantage of short courses run by The Open University.
It’s a talented team at Storm with a great mix of personalities and interests from everyone. One of the south west team Mark Haysom is a talented music producer creating Electronic Bass Music – check out his catalogue https://soundcloud.com/tvndramusic - you may just discover a new genre you enjoy!
Steve Drew, who heads up the South West office has also been busy making his garden compete with Monty Don’s and has help from his young son Rory who has learnt to walk during lockdown!
Being (in the main!) a team of young and fit surveyors and trainees, news is coming in from the furlough employees of time spent, cycling, running, walking and generally getting fitter. All in all keeping their mind and bodies fit and ready to hit the ground running when they come back into action in early June.
Storm’s social media channels are all buzzing with content following the Covid journey from a River Survey Team’s point of view and give up to date information on how Storm will progress. Also, Storm’s social media channels will allow you an insight into all the innovation and progress of systems over the past week of “lockdown”. June is setting up to be a mammoth month of river survey work so let’s hope the sun keeps shinning and the foliage doesn’t grow too quickly!
Take care everyone #staysafe #stayalert #carryonsurveying