The coronavirus outbreak has presented unprecedented challenges to the global economy, all the while raking up much mayhem about it. Nonetheless, it is a serious epidemic that requires companies to undertake diverse control measures to ensure the safety and welfare of the community.
School Transport Services LLC (STS) being a leading private operator of safe and reliable school transportation services for schools in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, deals with children between the ages of three and seventeen on a daily basis. With the health and well being of these children in our hands, we have been proactively assessing the situation, keeping abreast with changing laws and events unfolding worldwide.
Our senior management, together with our QHSE team carried out risk assessment at a corporate level and for our transport operations, in accordance with which, designed an efficient response strategy.
Here’s our perspective on the evolving situation.
STS has maintained a strong communication channel with all key constituents, our employees, staff members, stakeholders and the parent community. A briefing session was conducted for service delivery executives, team leaders and foremen. Basic awareness and information on the disease was provided through videos created in English and Hindi.
Watch them here:
In addition to these awareness videos, our Managing Director, Steve Burnell, sent out a personalized video message to all our department heads and supervisors across the UAE, instructing them on preventive measures to be implemented, suggested behaviours to be observed within teams and urging them to remain calm and keep a clear head while navigating these uncertain times.
A detailed bus-wise and school-wise sanitisation plan was then shared with team leaders which was then cascaded down to the operations level. Checklists of the process for sanitisation and disinfestation of our fleet of 3,100 school buses were shared and implemented across all of STS’s bus garages.
Take a look here:
Operationally, we have had to overcome logistical challenges with regards to materials procurement and manpower deployment to carry out the sanitisation process. Our biggest strength through this journey has been our pre-existing, framework for maintaining hygiene, sanitisation and safety standards. This ensured that we were well-equipped to raise to the occasion, react cautiously and be truly effective in the face of minimal notice to plan and implement precautionary action and measures as per updates from the Ministry of Health and Prevention. We are proud to have handled this situation effectively and with minimal disruption to our daily operations.
Upon successful implementation, continuous monitoring and supervision is being carried out by our line managers and HR personnel. On the corporate front, presentations and memos with regular updates on the developing circumstances have been circulated via employee engagement platforms. Travel policies have now been updated to accommodate rapidly changing laws and impositions. Mandating travel declaration forms and conducting medical checks for staff returning from virus-infected red zones of the world, as well as health checks at unit levels and staff accommodation are being carried out.
Leading through this onerous state-of-affairs, our prime focus has been enabling children with safe, timely and smart transportation to and from school.