Blog COVID-19 Response: Risk Assessment (Updated 26th October 2020)

COVID-19 Response: Risk Assessment (Updated 26th October 2020)

The company has carried out a thorough risk assessment and as a business who employs over 50 people, are following the UK Government advice to publish our findings on our website. Please contact us anytime if you have specific questions about any of the following actions.

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Our priority is protecting staff and clients who do need to attend Midford Place to do work that otherwise can not be done at home.

Key to the advice published by the Government on May 11th titled 'Working Safely during the Coronavirus' (offices) is the following, most relevant to our business:

Objective: That everyone should work from home, unless they cannot work from home.

Staff should work from home if at all possible. Consider who is needed to be on-site; for example:

– workers in roles critical for business and operational continuity, safe facility management, or regulatory requirements and which cannot be performed remotely.

– workers in critical roles which might be performed remotely, but who are unable to work remotely due to home circumstances or the unavailability of safe enabling equipment.

Planning for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively.

Monitoring the wellbeing of people who are working from home and helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site.

Keeping in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements including their welfare, mental and physical health and personal security.

Providing equipment for people to work at home safely and effectively, for example, remote access to work systems.

Objective: To protect clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.

Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals have been strongly advised not to work outside the home.

Clinically vulnerable individuals, who are at higher risk of severe illness (for example, people with some pre existing conditions), have been asked to take extra care in observing social distancing and should be helped to work from home, either in their current role or in an alternative role.

We have gone to great lengths to adhere to all this advice, consult the team, and ensure that people's health is taken into account at all stages.


We have implemented the following building changes:

- Ensure latest Gov health posters are visible in all key locations across the building (kitchens, toilets, entrance, reception)

- Add the following signs throughout the stairwell (facing both directions)
‘MOVE AROUND THE BUILDING SLOWLY & WITH CARE: When using STAIRS observe the 2m markers. Do not cross on the stairs, give people space to go first before continuing yourself. If you do have to let someone pass you closer than 2m, be considerate and cover your nose and mouth with your elbow. The same applies to corridors. Thank you’

- 2m taped off markings on stairs

- Add a sign to the entrances of all Studios that reads:
Clients do not go beyond the orange tape in the Studios
Voice Over Artists / Actors please go straight into the voice booth and remain there

- Mark off floor areas using orange tape in the studios for clients to keep 2m away from engineers. See layouts below for offices and studios.

- Mark off floor areas using orange tape in the reception for visitors to keep 2m away from the receptionist. Add sign that reads:
‘VISITORS do not go beyond the orange tape in the Reception’

- Block off office and studios chairs & tables in line with the layouts on the following pages to allow for 2 meters distance between staff and clients. Reception chairs are also marked off with a minimum distance of 1.2m.

- Add floor signs to office as per routes in layouts

- Hand sanitizer to be provided at several points throughout the building, including next to reception iPad (see check-in procedure section for additional measures)

- Office doors to audiobooks and dubbing edit rooms (first floor production office) to be propped open to reduce use of door contact.

- Sign on both kitchens reading ‘Only one person in the kitchen at a time. Please wash your hands before & after preparing food and drinks. Thank you’ People will also be required to do their won washing up.

- Staff and producers can make their own tea and coffee, but are not permitted to make others tea and coffee

- Client ‘Toilet’ Paxton card is to be kept on top of the drinks fridge in reception in card stand/holder, along with Hand Sanitizer.

- In house tea and coffee can now be provided safely on request. These can be distributed at a safe social distance or left outside of studios for collection. Front of house staff will ensure gloves are worn when preparing any hot drinks orders. Outsourced coffee’s (Pret, Starbucks etc) are available at our discretion. Cold drinks will be self-service only and available from the main reception area.

- Sign to go on the drinks fridge in reception: ‘Please help yourself to drinks but clean down the handle and your hands after use’. Kitchen towel, sanitizer and bin to be provided on top of fridge.

- Add a sign to all Audiobooks Studios that reads:
‘READERS ENTER STUDIOS FIRST AND GO STRAIGHT INTO BOOTH & CLOSE DOOR. PRODUCERS FOLLOW AFTER. If you need to leave, do the same in reverse using the other Studios allocated for extra space in order to maintain a safe social distance. Thank you’

- Front of house staff have completed thorough certified online First Aid and Fire Marshall courses to complement the existing certified staff and ensure someone on site will always have the necessary training.

- Front of house staff will remain seated for the most part, with minimal movement (providing the odd hot drink as above). They will also be the producers eyes and ears who are largely working from home, helping with scripts, letting people in and out, and directing to the right floors.

- Front of house staff will be doing regular cleaning throughout the building (at least twice a day) on handrails, door push plates, tables after clients have been in etc. (The following addition to the Cleaning policy was made 22nd May 2020)- Studios Engineers and Audiobook Producers will be responsible for cleaning their own control and live rooms using the products provided after each recording session. Voice Overs / Actors are also to be encouraged to bring their own headphones and popshields where possible.

An extensive audit of items to be cleaned at the end of all sessions has been carried out across the teams, and all internal staff including producers and engineers are aware of their responsibilities (see sample list below) - we will also be introducing a system with the front of house team logging compliance daily. Any freelancers will also be communicated with to ensure they are cleaning the studios they work in appropriately too. To reduce movement of people, producers/engineers will carry out their own cleaning at the end of each session and encouraged to wash their hands at the end of the clean of course as personal hygiene is still consistently advised as the number one protective measure against COVID-19. This cleaning is studios and department specific, ensuring all equipment and touch points are appropriate to each space and type of work.

Note that all this is in addition to the twice daily front of house communal areas cleaning above, and nightly building contract cleaning, outlined below. Here is a sample from the internal 'Cleaning Audit Per Session' document the teams will be referencing:

- NJC (our contract cleaners) clean the building fully every evening. They also received new training for sanitising and social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak


- Only one iPad (furthest away from the front of house staff member) is to be used for sign in (if App is not used):

- The QR code is printed for our Sine App for fast / contact free sign in and several copies placed around reception/entrance. The following email message should be shared with all clients when making a booking:

ATTENTION ALL ATTENDEES: In order to take advantage of our contact free sign-in technology Sine, whilst also keeping our building secure, please download the ‘Sine Pro’ App onto your smartphone prior to attending a studio session at SNK Studios/Red Apple Creative/Audiobooks, available for free on iOS here or Android here. Once you’ve registered, you can simply use the built in scanner to read the QR code available at several points in reception and around the building for fast, secure signing-in and out of the building. Note that Sine is fully GDPR compliant, read more here. If you prefer not to get the App, there is an iPad available on the front desk along with hand sanitizer.


- Engineers will be working in the same room each day, not swapping around within a day (or at all) if possible.

- If you need to speak to your colleagues, please phone them on their mobiles - all engineers must keep mobiles on during sessions and answer if colleagues call. Politely explain to clients this it to reduce movement in the building.

- If you need something from another room / storage when someone is already in there, please ask the person in the room first to get it and wait, rather than going in yourself and do not hand things directly to colleagues.

- We will not be sourcing and serving client lunches as we usually would, they will need to go out for these and eat back in their designated working space.

- No hotdesking is allowed in Phase 1, one man per desk per day limit, although if cleaners have been in, swapping could be allowed from one day to the next.


Where possible please avoid public transport. Either bike, walk or get a taxi (using the company business account with Green Tomatoes and keep windows in the cab open).

We can help clients arrange cabs, Bookings should again use Green Tomatoes and advise on keeping windows down where possible. We would need to pass cab costs onto clients in the usual way.

Where at all possible all producers to stagger session start and end times by half an hour, and ensure clients don't spend long in reception (there will only be minimal seating in there anyway).

Producers will also aim to stagger day start/end times to reduce simultaneous arrival times and reduce transport pressure.


SNK Studios / Red Apple Creative have maintained the 2m rule and all seating and floor markings throughout the building are still in line with that measurement, however we recognise when moving around the building including in and out of studios, on stairs and in corridors, it can be difficult to maintain social distancing at all times, therefore we are now requesting all staff and visitors wear face coverings when not seated. During attended recording sessions masks can be removed if you so wish as the distance is maintained. However, if clients would like to wear masks during sessions, our sound engineers have also agreed to wear them for the duration of the session too.


Section 5 of the Gov advice ‘Before Opening’ details preparing the building. We are satisfied we are going far over the basic requirements and meeting all the Gov recommendations thoroughly. Section 5.1 reads: Most air conditioning systems do not need adjustment, however where systems serve multiple buildings or you are unsure, advice can be sought from your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisers.
(The following addition to the AC policy was made 22nd May 2020)Working alongside our Refcom certified Air Conditioning providers (F-Gas Certificate No. REF1012503), we have now put the additional steps in place, over and above Gov guidelines:

- Aircon units in Booths and Control rooms to run all day, including breaks and through lunchtime.
- SNK/Red Apple staff to be in control of aircon settings. Remote controls and wall interfaces are not to be accessed by producers or talent.
- All displacement ventilation grills are to be kept clean and clear of blockages.
- Regular maintenance of filtration to be conducted by Red Apple/SNK staff, including anti-bacterial spray to be applied to filter grills before and after each session.
- Where our certified team carry out cleaning or planned maintenance of the AC systems, appropriate PPE will be worn where they see fit.
(The following addition to the AC policy was made 24th September 2020)
Working alongside our Refcom certified Air Conditioning providers (F-Gas Certificate No. REF1012503), a dedicated ventilation intake duct was fitted to enable studio A and B to reopen with fresh air feed.


In line with the company's CV19 policy we will work closely with clients, agents/narrators and producers to keep all who come to Midford Place to record audio books safe and happy.

Following an overhaul of Studio A and Studio B's air conditioning setup on 24.9.20, both Studios A & B have now fully reopened with fresh air feeding independently into both Control rooms and Booths. That means all four of our main Audiobook Studios are now safe and fully functioning (considering both the Gov and air con industry guidelines), with the following additional processes in place...

We will work with clients, agents, narrators and producers to stagger start, break and finish times to ensure both studios aren't arriving, breaking and ending simultaneously. Producers will be aware of the other studios schedules and liaise accordingly. As they will about the bookings in the wider SNK Studio network.

We will help allay any concerns clients, agents/narrators and producers have about their bookings and our studios and share all associated documentation.

We will ensure an internal member of the AB team are on hand to help external producers and contact email and phone numbers for the editing team and Zoe and Niki will always be available.

There is no such thing as a 'daft question.' Anything that occurs to you about your booking ask us. We want everyone to enjoy the experience of being in the studios so anything that we can do to help let us know.
We may provide mobile numbers to any non-staff producers present to speak whilst avoiding moving around the building.

We will also brief attendees beforehand in emails as to the spaces they have available to them. The signage listed above will also help.


We will continue to keep everything under review over the coming weeks and months and make adjustments inline with the changing situation and the business’ requirements as we go. Once we’re ready to contemplate more significant changes or relax any of these fundamental plans, we will move to Phase 2, which we will consult on in due course.



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