Ensuring Worker Safety During COVID-19

April 23, 2020

Author: Matt Timberlake – EVP, Corporate Development

Safety. You hear and see this word a lot from companies across the nation—and even the world. But simply saying an organization is safe doesn’t translate to action. Participating in safety stand downs or the National Safety Council’s National Safety Month are great reminder events, but for safety to truly be part of a company’s culture, it has to be woven throughout everything every person does, from management to field workers.

COVID-19 has shined an incredibly bright light on health and safety in the workplace. Now is the time for companies to reinforce their commitment to safety by reevaluating efforts taken to protect workers and create a healthy work environment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has assisted planning and workplace preparations by developing guidelines for preparing workplaces for COVID-19. Ongoing prevention measures include engineering controls, administrative controls and safe work practices; personal protective equipment (PPE) standards and recommendations are also detailed in the OSHA guide. Recommendations for increasing ventilation in enclosed spaces, developing alternating days or shifts for workers, offering personal hygiene resources and providing PPE are all suggestions that can help control workplace hazards and reduce exposure to COVID-19, now and during future flare-ups.

At this time, most, if not all, of these suggestions should be implemented for companies deemed essential by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Businesses within the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector, like Vortex Companies, should have taken necessary steps to stop the virus from proliferating in their workplaces—both brick and mortar buildings as well as across jobsites and on high touch company assets like vehicles and equipment.

Because safety is integrated in every decision Vortex makes, we were prepared to take immediate action to keep our team healthy and working at full force. From communicating Field Crew Social Distancing best practices and direct engagement between our regional health and safety managers and field superintendents, to developing and distributing the Vortex Health and Wellbeing guide, we have upheld our first company value: We are Safe.

As a company, we cannot put a price on our investment in the safety of our employees. At the end of the day, they are the backbone of our organization. Because of them, we’re able to go above and beyond for customers, even in the most challenging of times. It’s one thing to say our team’s health and safety truly matters to us, and it’s another to ensure Vortex is a safe and great place to work.

Our crews and office personnel are like family, and we treat them as such. Out of concern for our employees, customers and front-line healthcare worker safety, Vortex has produced our own anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitizer, Crew Care™. After realizing how COVID-19 created a very serious shortage of critical care items, we had to step up and do our part. Crew Care hand sanitizer is actually just the first in a complete line of crew health and safety-related products to be launched. CEO of the Vortex Companies, Mike Vellano, said, “The world will change after this and so will our attitude and behavior toward on-the-job safety preparedness. Crew Care will help support this.”

While we’re all relatively unsure what the new normal will look and feel like after COVID-19 subsides, one thing Vortex is certain of is that safety will continue to be a priority. The health and safety of our employees, subcontractors, partners, visitors of our jobsites and facilities and the general public will always take precedence. We’ll also continue to support the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector and Construction sector with our new line of crew health products, as a higher standard of safety is vital.

For more information on Vortex Companies’ safety culture or values, or what we’re doing to keep our employees, jobsites and the public safe, please contact Matt Timberlake, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development.

You will find crew CARE™ hand sanitizer, masks and other products here, on shoptrenchless.com.

Topics: Blog