In a T&D World article, Guidehouse discusses strategies utilities can take to safely continue service during a pandemic
Utilities and their personnel are no strangers to dealing with challenging circumstances, including ice storms, hurricanes, and now a pandemic. As a critical infrastructure industry, they need to be prepared for emergency response no matter the crisis.
In an article for T&D World, Guidehouse experts Hector Artze, partner; Jay Smith, director; and Juan Jimenez, managing consultant, discussed how one utility, Eversource Energy, prioritized employee safety and social distancing in their pandemic response plan.
The trio outlined a four-step comprehensive reopening strategy for utilities to implement in their plans for bringing employees back into the workplace:
Policy and procedure changes to reduce exposure to COVID-19
Medical monitoring and tracing to promptly identify and isolate infected employees to prevent additional spread
Safe work practices with administrative controls that focus on safe and proper work to reduce the duration, frequency, or intensity of exposure to the virus (including personal protective equipment, face coverings, access to sanitizers, and training on implementation of safe practices)
Environmental and facility controls with initiatives such as increased air filtration, physical barriers, spacing (for workers, customers, and site visitors), badges, tracing, and monitoring
“Through these proactive steps, utilities can safeguard their most important asset—their employees—amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Artze said.