WAM'S Safety Response During COVID-19

Just over a year ago last February, my wife and I joined a group of friends at the Marrakech magic theatre in San Francisco. We were able to convince family to babysit our new baby boy and sneak away for a few social hours to celebrate a friend’s birthday with drinks and a show. Naturally, there was a good buzz amongst the crowd in the small intimate theatre and the words COVID-19 were barely mentioned. Fast forward a few days later, a shelter in place government mandate was in effect, and the rest is history.

Now almost a year has passed since the pandemic wreaked havoc across most of the world. I am proud to say that Western Allied Mechanical was able to weather the initial COVID-19 storm and that we continue to persevere thanks to the dedication and care of our many employees.

To help combat the novel coronavirus, Western Allied Mechanical responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in a variety of ways. Over the past year we have:

  • Kept our field and office personnel employed even when most of our industry peers were furloughed or laid off due to projects being stopped, delayed or canceled.
  • Allowed working remotely and implemented a limited return to office work policy.
  • Closed our gym and reduced meeting room occupancies to help reduce possible COVID spread.
  • Set up a dedicated COVID-19 email to help answer employee questions.
  • Set up safety protocols for our construction and service projects and for our own buildings. At our buildings, we limited entry points and have implemented a temperature-taking protocol along with an employee questionnaire. Employees going through the check-in protocol also receive a colored bracelet indicating that they have gone through the check-in process.
  • Secured and provided an abundance of hand sanitizer and cleaning solutions to all employees.
  • Secured and provided surgical and KN-95 masks, as well as fit-tested field personnel for respirators.
  • Added additional plexiglass to the cubicles to help prevent airborne transmission.
  • Increased ventilation air to our buildings, installed better filters as well as GPS Ionization systems at our rooftop air conditioning units.
  • Discussed with our employees their travel plans and how to safely re-enter our workforce.
  • Provide contact tracing mechanisms and questionnaires that are constantly being revised and improved by our executive safety committee.
  • Held virtual social gathering events to help promote check-ins and communication amongst fellow colleagues.
  • Added Kask hard hats with attachable lightweight face shields to WAMs arsenal of PPE.
  • Procured and deployed the Cellex qSARS-Cov-2 Antigen Rapid Test Kit, which takes 15 minutes to produce an identifiable result. Health and Safety Director, LeeRoy Young, Operations Manager, Jim Jeffrey, and Sheetmetal Superintendent, Randy Freitas, have administered over 200+ tests.

Reflecting on where I was about a year ago, watching a magic show and enjoying a rare evening out, it would have been the best magic trick to have this whole pandemic disappear.

While that illusion isn’t possible, the real magic is continuously being performed by every member of the Western Allied Mechanical family. By continuing to care for one another and keep each other safe, you are personifying one of WAM’s fundamental core values, being “Grounded in Care.” It is this collective resolve and camaraderie that will help us all persevere during these uncertain times.

Until we can safely meet again, thank you all for your diligence in keeping yourselves, your families, your crews and all of the Western Allied Mechanical family safe.