3 min read
As COVID-19 has spread throughout North America, maintaining the health and safety of our employees, customers and partners has been and remains the top priority for Hitachi ABB Power Grids.
The company’s primary customers, power utilities that operate the power grids on which society is completely dependent, have been designated as ‘essential’ by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other key governmental agencies, and are required to maintain their operations.
As a provider of critical infrastructure to these organizations, Hitachi ABB Power Grids is obliged to maintain our operations to the extent possible, continuing to manufacture vital components and provide essential services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the outbreak started, Hitachi ABB Power Grids has been continually monitoring the pandemic and working hard to assess and mitigate any risks, both to our employees and the communities in which we operate; our local footprint includes a number of major manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada, all of which have remained operational during the pandemic.
In terms of protective actions, Hitachi ABB Power Grids has sought to exceed the protections prescribed by federal and local government regulations on health and safety for critical infrastructure employees. We have been executing the following procedures for our employees in our manufacturing facilities, including:
- Mandating temperature screening for all personnel entering our sites.
- Restricting access for all external visitors, including customers, to eliminate exposure to our employees from outside parties.
- Shifting all customer interactions to virtual meetings.
- Requiring all personnel to telecommute where possible.
- Instructing any persons experiencing illness or flu-like symptoms to stay home.
- Suspending all large group meetings (>10 persons).
- Discouraging employees from socializing at break times.
- Requiring face coverings for all personnel whose jobs cannot be performed while maintaining socially distancing.
- Staggering break and service times to minimize exposure and allow for cleaning between service; removing excess chairs and tables to help ensure social distancing.
- Designating cleaning crews specifically to clean and sterilize common areas and providing antibacterial sprays and wipes to sanitize workstations between users (employees have unlimited access to disinfectant for use on their respective workstations and tools).
- Providing hand sanitizer in all break and high-traffic areas such as time clocks and employee entrances.
- Providing paid sick leave for employees showing symptoms.
- Providing paid time off for employees who are quarantined as a result of close contact.
In terms of tracking risk of exposure for employees, Hitachi ABB Power Grids has followed an extremely stringent process for contact tracing. We have also maintained a policy of complete transparency across our sites, engaging in daily (or more frequent) communication with local employees related to the local COVID-19 situation. This process has been in place since the start of the pandemic.
We greatly value our employees and their contributions to keeping the nation’s lights on, and as such we offer a competitive compensation package along with a comprehensive suite of health and welfare and retirement benefits. We seek to be an employer of choice in the places where we do business, which is everywhere the power flows.