Updated April 16, 2020
Updates to the original post are in italics
The world health community continues to monitor closely the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, named “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). At this time, no one knows how severe or what the duration of this outbreak will be. Given this uncertainty, and the fact that the seasonal influenza (flu) virus is also widespread, we are taking proactive steps to address a number of public health and business concerns. Our objectives are:
- Maintain a safe workplace and encourage and/or adopt practices protecting the health of employees, customers, visitors or others.
- Ensure the continuity of business operations.
You Have a Responsibility to Limit the Spread of Coronavirus
We ask all employees to cooperate in taking steps to reduce the spread of communicable diseases in the workplace. Employees are reminded of the following:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash.
- Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces.
- Limit exposure to others by avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of six feet (6’) between you and others.
- Wear face masks when indoors or riding in company vehicles with co-workers.
It is critical that employees do not report to work while they are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that employees remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Many times, with the best of intentions, employees report to work even though they feel ill. Employees who report to work ill will be sent home in accordance with these health guidelines.
Klausing Group is Taking Action to Promote Social Distancing
In addition to the steps we are asking each individual to take, the following operational procedures will be amended until further notice.
- Increase disinfecting of common surfaces, vehicle interiors, equipment and tool handles. Disinfecting instruction and checklists have been distributed to each office.
- Promote and facilitate social distancing by:
- Limiting mandatory gatherings and meetings.
- Delivering training programs and safety huddles outside in groups no larger than 10.
- Using telephone and video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings.
- Business developers, account managers, estimators, branch managers, and human resources are instructed to work remotely.
- Production managers are instructed to work remotely when possible and to minimize time spent at the branch office.
- Our existing employer policies remain in effect and we ask all employees to continue to communicate often and regularly with their respective team members and offices about project deadlines and duties.
- Limit food handling by:
- Not serving food during training programs
- Disinfecting shared water coolers
- Reducing access to shared ice makers
- Allowing employees to voluntarily drive personal vehicles between jobs (excluding crew leaders who must drive work vehicles)
- Accommodate requests for time off from employees who must care for their children
- Promote employee health and well-being by limiting overtime
- Limiting entry into customer facilities
Klausing Group will continue to work together with our staff, public health officials, and our clients’ teams to reduce the spread of and minimize the impact of Coronavirus.
On March 28, 2020 the Department of Homeland Security updated the national Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response to indicate which businesses the Federal Government have determined are critical and essential and should remain in operation. The list specifically enumerates the landscape industry, which includes all aspects of landscape services including landscape maintenance, lawn care, irrigation and tree care.
“Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC
Technicians, landscapers, and other service providers who provide services that are
necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences,
businesses and buildings such as hospitals, senior living facilities, any temporary
construction required to support COVID-19 response.”