Maintaining operational capability and worker health, safety and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, Walbridge assumed a leadership role in continuing essential construction activities with a strict focus on worker health and safety. Establishing a cross-functional team, we created detailed plans and procedures encompassing a myriad of perspectives including Project Management, Health, Safety, IT, and HR. Meanwhile, our CEO advanced a public policy initiative to safely restart construction activities across the state. Collaborating with industry leaders, public health and labor organizations, we published safety policies and protocols allowing workers to safely perform their jobs onsite. We openly shared our COVID-19 Operations Response plan industry-wide to promote the safety, health and wellbeing of all workers.
Other actions included developing an electronic database of daily survey data to manage workers’ health status, and ensure compliance with the numerous state, county and local jurisdictions for our projects. Mandatory daily health and temperature screenings were enforced, requiring workers to stay home if they had elevated temperatures or were otherwise feeling ill. Local work restrictions were updated on a daily basis and published for all employees. Our cloud-based technologies enabled essential support staff to work uninterrupted from remote locations. Detailed office protocols were implemented to enable employees to safely and confidently return to the office environment. The Executive team continues to meet regularly to assess ongoing risks and actions required to ensure a healthy and safe workplace.
The Governor of the State of Michigan adopted some of our recommendations into an Executive Order allowing onsite construction activities to resume despite widespread work shutdowns. Our detailed operations response plan became the standard for our North American operations, and was shared publicly to promote public health, safety and inclusive work opportunities for all workers in our industry.
Richard Krout, HR Director