JW Filshill has strengthened its commitment to ensuring the ongoing safety of customers, staff and shoppers during the coronavirus pandemic with the appointment of Amanda Casey as health and safety manager.
Since joining the Glasgow-based wholesaler in the summer, Amanda has built on the strong hygiene confidence measures introduced across the business after the first national lockdown was announced in March.
This saw Filshill move quickly to provide Perspex sneeze screens at tills and social distancing floor vinyls for KeyStore More and KeyStore outlets to provide safety reassurance for staff – and peace of mind for the increasing number of shoppers who switched to shopping locally and supporting their local convenience store.
More recent developments have included the distribution of branded KeyStore and KeyStore More face coverings for staff in outlets across Scotland and the north of England. JW Filshill-brand masks have also been made available to all staff based at the wholesaler’s headquarters in Hillington.
Amanda, a former customer service manager with Sainsbury’s, said: “Covid-19 has presented many layers of challenges for the Filshill business and my focus since joining the company has been to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of all staff, and make adjustments to our health and safety policies where necessary to reflect current changes to the way in which we live and work.
“For us, it is very much business as usual but with increased frequency of cleaning procedures across our head office and depot, more staff training plus an uplift in staff engagement to ensure everyone keeps the ‘Covid safe’ message front and foremost – that includes wearing a face covering when moving about the building.
“We cannot be complacent and we even have Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director, reminding us of the ‘FACTS’ three times a day over the tannoy.”
In October, Filshill arranged for over 100 members of staff to receive the flu vaccination ahead of the busy Christmas trading period. “This proved very popular as it was really convenient for colleagues,” said Amanda, who has recently become a Graduate Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
“We are also very aware that people may struggle from time to time with the situation in which we have all found ourselves in this year and 18 of our team, across all departments, have been trained as mental health first aiders. These new skills, of course, provide support to our entire workforce but also have a very positive impact on supporting their family and friends – that is important to us as a business.
“Filshill has displayed a strong commitment to CSR for many years but we recognised that in these unprecedented times we have a greater moral responsibility towards our staff and they need to know that we want them to feel both safe and valued as colleagues.”
While Covid has been front of mind and priorities have had to change, ongoing risk assessment and management of all health and safety controls within the business continues. “From fire safety to ensuring that all areas of the workplace are fit for purpose, at Filshill our aim is for health and safety and caring for our colleagues to be part of our culture as an independent business for families,” Amanda added.
Simon Hannah, chief executive officer of JW Filshill, described Amanda’s appointment as “absolutely vital” to the smooth running of the business. He said: “In a busy wholesale operation like ours it is easy to associate health and safety with the safe operation of equipment like forklifts in our depot and our drivers handling deliveries.
“However, the health and safety remit goes so much further than that. As we have demonstrated this year, the safety, health and wellbeing of all our staff and customers is paramount and our work with retailers to ensure that they receive the correct advice on current social distancing measures and other ways to stay safe in accordance with official Government guidelines continues.
“Our view is that providing hygiene confidence to shoppers and colleagues protects the communities that we collectively support and serve. But we have broadened our focus to include areas such as flu vaccinations for staff who want them, mental health support and offering our colleagues flexibility around working from home where possible, childcare and looking after relatives who are shielding.
“2020 has enabled us to look more closely at our health and safety procedures and how we support colleagues and are investing in what really matters – Amanda’s appointment as health and safety manager has been instrumental in this.”