Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

COVID-19 Precautions for employees?

RayWohlfarth
RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 953
This is all new territory for everyone and I was wondering what you are doing to protect your employees. I have latex gloves for my service techs. Since we do a lot of rooftop work, I am postponing filter changes for at least a month because I am afraid the filters could have the virus. This sort of puts us in a quandary as we use this time of year to do the PMs. We have told our techs to avoid people and tell the client we will send an email with what we found. We use disinfecting wipes to clean the steering well, door handles, and dashboard of the trucks. One of the good things is the traffic is so light, we can be across town in no time. I would love hearing what you do.
Ray Wohlfarth
Boiler Lessons

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,903
    Study your contracts very very carefully. There are some real booby traps there. If your contract specifies a timeline for doing something, unless you have an hysterical government with a shelter in place order, you are obligated to conform to that timeline, just as always (and they can sue you if you fail to perform) -- with a major exception. If the other party (your client) locks you out, then any timelines in that contract are null and void. Further, you may have an action for breach of contract against that party for any wages or other losses incurred by the lockout.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Contraction of COVID-19 in the work place is an OSHA recordable. Obviously their intervention comes down to company size.

    Proving it happens in the work place is tougher matter. However if employers are not following the CDC, FED,State, and local gov. Mandates through this I think you would find OSHA could come up with something.......

  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,282
    contracts I see include "Force Majeure" clauses that gives everyone an out.
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 953
    @Jamie Hall I let my customers know we are postponing the filter changes and they agree. Of course, I get it in writing by sending an email. If they would not, I think I would ask them to find a new vendor. I would never want to potentially expose my employee to anything like this virus
    @gordy These are crazy times and there is no playbook on what to do.
    @SlamDunk I will have to check that out
    Thanks
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • Zipper13
    Zipper13 Member Posts: 219
    SlamDunk said:

    contracts I see include "Force Majeure" clauses that gives everyone an out.

    I work for a big New England civil engineering and construction/design company. Our lawyers started looking into "Force Majeure" issues and rights in all of our contracts and bids about a month ago as some suppliers have reduced output. If we can't get supplies, we can't meet the deadlines.

    I personally manage a lot of my branch's communal surveying tools so I have to deal with everyone's germy grimy stuff when they return it from job sites all over. I've been Lysoling and wiping everything on return. And obsessively using purell on my hands as I return to my desk. It's the best I can think to do.
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,903
    SlamDunk said:

    contracts I see include "Force Majeure" clauses that gives everyone an out.

    Watch out for force majeure. It's use has not been tested either in the case of fear or threat of contracting a disease, nor in the face of government actions, such as restrictions on travel or forced closures of businesses, which are of very very doubtful constitutionality. It is not a Get out of Jail card -- and I, for one, would contest its use if a contractor copped out. But in some ways I'm not a very nice person...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,755
    @RayWohlfarth, it sounds like you're doing the right things. Make sure your employees don't touch their faces while their gloves are on, and that they replace the gloves—and wash their hands—if the gloves get torn, and when they remove a pair of gloves, they do so without touching the outside of either glove with a bare hand. Keep a box of tissues in each of your vehicles.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,750
    So if the virus could exist on filter media, how long would it still be infectious. There are tests and results for cardboard and steel etc. But filter media with dirt and dust ?

    My movie theater should have a filter change, building has been empty since Sunday. Fans run constantly.
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 870
    Honestly, the thing I'm worried most about (I don't have employees, so its just my safety as far as contraction goes), is carrying it into the house of someone who is older or immuno-compromised. The community I work in has a lot of older people, many on oxygen, many with heart conditions. I have been being as diligent as I can using gloves, hand sanitizer, and being very careful about touching anything except what I have to work on, keeping my distance from the customers as much as is possible. Also, I am trying to recommend to as many people as possible to postpone things like a small drip on a faucet, and only do the more necessary repairs such as no heat or hot water, non functioning equipment, etc..

    I will say, I have noticed a sharp drop off on the number of calls I'm receiving in the last few days, anyone else's phones slowing down? I have about 3 weeks of work scheduled at the moment, but its going to be interesting to see what happens next...I have not had a single call this week, usually average about 7 or 8 per day.......
    Gordy
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 953
    @Zipper13 I haven't washed my hands this much since I cleaned a sooted boiler LOL @Jamie Hall You're that glass half empty kind of guy,(said with love and respect)
    @Hap_Hazzard I am drilling it in Hope they listen.
    @JUGHNE All my customers still have people inside the office buildings.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    Hap_Hazzard
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,903
    Always have been, @RayWohlfarth . One reason why I'm still here... what can go wrong this time, and what am I going to do about it? Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ratiodelta T
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 713
    I'm with @delta T I'm more concerned about infecting a high risk group inadvertently through poor hygiene, than I am about what happens to me if I catch it. I've had pneumonia twice in my life, so it's possible I should be more concerned about myself. I'm finding the highest risk age groups are the most likely to not observe the voluntary quarantine because "nobody can tell them what to do". I can only hope evolution sorts them out during this pandemic and they don't infect someone already at risk
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
    Gordydelta T
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 953
    @Jamie Hall You gotta do what works for you I like that Improvise, Adapt and Overcome!
    @delta T Our phones stopped this week as well. The weather has contributed some to that
    @Canucker I see these knuckleheads on the beaches in Florida and wonder where their parents are
    @Gordy Thanks
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Here is how It just went for me. Illinois shut down all state parks Sunday. We have a bridge in a state park which is under IDOT contract in which we continued working with the RE’s okay. The shut down was to the public. We own that bridge until completion in which it is turned back over to the owners.

    Monday we worked, Tuesday at noon the DNR emailed Springfield for work to stop on project.

    Wed/Thursday a chain of emails pointed out to the DNR that the project would end up costing more money under article 108.07 companies are entitled to idle time for equipment,remobalization, , and increased costs of fuel, materials, and or labor. Along with extension of the contract completion date. So delayed completion date.

    This particular state park has the highest volume of visitors in the state. Campgrounds, fishing etc.

    By today at 11:30 the DNR. Gave the okay to proceed with construction........money makes decisions.
    Canucker
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,903
    Money does indeed make decisions, @Gordy -- but that also illustrates that … you can't fix stupid! (on the part of the State DNR...)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    CanuckerGordy
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Agreed @Jamie Hall another detail is the GC of the project which is doing the dirt work, and roads is behind schedule. This was their saving grace tool to use to their advantage. Plea for time extension, and push the project into better weather conditions to perform work. Didn’t work out for them. .....
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 381
    Any contractors pondering the legal ramifications of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 disease it causes ought hope they're not relying on Mark Frilot, the relatively young construction lawyer in this article

    https://heavy.com/news/2020/03/mark-frilot/

    to help them through.