Granite’s Response to COVID-19 9/18/20
At Granite, we are fortunate that the majority of our operations continue because our business has been designated as essential. Our plants and facilities, projects and offices remain open and in operation as we continue to execute our work across North America. While the future is unclear, we know that investment in the infrastructure sector is an historic trend during down markets and has helped to spur economic growth. We are hopeful that Congress will approve additional funding for infrastructure this fall.
What has remained clear and constant is our belief that our people are our top asset, and their safety and health is our top priority. We continue to implement new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with state and local public health authorities into our Site-Specific Safety Plans. An integral piece of each plan is Granite’s COVID-19 Employee Risk/Decision Matrix which provides a comprehensive approach and detailed steps to take based on exposure scenarios or if someone is experiencing symptoms. Safety and hygiene policies and protocols now established and routine at our projects, plants, and offices include:
- Creating COVID-19 site-specific safety plans
- Designating COVID-19 Champions to monitor new safety guidelines
- Incorporating a personal health check into our daily Take 5 safety meetings
- Expanding sanitization and hygiene protocols for workspaces, tools, and equipment
- Implementing social distancing and smaller Take 5 safety meetings
- Providing required face coverings
- Streamlining the pre-employment paperwork process to minimize in-person contact
As we enter the traditional flu season, there are many preventative actions we can take to help stop the spread of the viruses. In addition to practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing, and the use of face coverings, we are also urging our employees to get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine protects you and the people around you from the flu, including the most vulnerable in our population, plus it will help reduce the strain on an already burdened healthcare system responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to avoid co-infection between COVID-19 and the flu this season. The flu vaccine is preventative care and is covered by insurance for all Granite employees and their eligible family members. We see this as a way to help protect not just our employees and their families, but also our partners and our communities. For Granite employees who choose to access a flu vaccine, you are encouraged to complete this before the end of October (the beginning of the traditional flu season).
Just as important as your physical health is your mental health. In fact, social and emotional well-being are key to overall wellness. It’s important to keep both the body and mind strong as we navigate these uncertain times, especially now during September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month. This is why Granite is urging employees to be proactive with their mental health and reminding them that our employee assistance program offers a free opportunity to talk with a mental health professional.
These are unprecedented and unpredictable times, but I know the strength and resourcefulness of our Granite team. Together we will continue to meet the new challenges and demands to build America’s infrastructure because Granite is America’s Infrastructure Company™.
Vice President of Safety
As America’s Infrastructure Company, safety has been deeply ingrained in our DNA over the past 98 years. We have implemented wide-reaching safety measures to proactively keep our employees, their teams, their families, our business partners, and our communities safe. Wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), adhering to strict safety protocols, and actively keeping ourselves and others safe is what we do.
COVID-19 brings new complexity to our work environment, and our safety culture drives us to continue delivering essential infrastructure for our customers safely. Our goal is to balance the health and safety of our employees while meeting the needs of our customers by maintaining our field operations. Our COVID-19 site-specific safety plans provide guidance tailored to each project and location. We’ve identified COVID-19 champions in all our offices, jobsites, shops, and facilities to ensure safety compliance such as social distancing, performing daily health checks, wearing face masks, cleaning equipment and tools between use, and limiting the sharing of supplies, among other measures. Our COVID-19 champions also communicate applicable public health department guidance to our teams.
Because we are in this together, it is more critical now than ever to support the communities in which we live and work. Across the company, Granite teams have donated PPE (N-95 respirators, face masks, Tyvek suits, and gloves), and meals as our way of saying “thank you” to those on the front lines fighting this virus – hospital teams and first responders. Our Granite Gives team actively supports hospitals, first responders, food banks, shelters, and seniors in the tri-county area near our headquarters in Watsonville, California with monetary and in-kind donations and Granite Green Truck deliveries.