Many members of the National Association of Electrical Distributors remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak, with the ongoing concern about keeping all employees and customers safe. During an interview for the “DistributED with tED magazine” podcast, Patty Olinger, the Executive Director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) explained that the concern is not just at work, but also the virus employees could potentially bring home from work.
Many NAED companies are curbside pickup, masks, and gloves to protect employees. But Olinger says while putting on the protective gear is important, how you take it off, and what you do right after is equally important. During the podcast. Olinger said when she was working on the Ebola outbreak in years ago, she would test front line people by put liquids on their gloves and masks, and seeing if they could take them off safely and without spreading the liquids. Many people could not. “People are concerned about their co-workers,” Olinger said during the podcast. “They want to have their job, come in to work, feel that they are safe, and then they are going to go home. And they want to make sure their people at home are safe and they don’t want to bring that virus back home with them. It’s one thing to have protective gear on, but you need to take it off properly or you can still catch the virus.”
During the podcast, Olinger announced that GBAC and the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) teamed up to create a two-and-a-half hour instructional video on ways to keep your employees say. She strongly recommended that every electrical distributor’s branch should have at least one person watch the video and relay the safety techniques to all employees. “A lot of our training had been built on face to face,” Olinger explained. “We get people in classrooms and we do hands on training with equipment and solutions and different scenarios. We can’t do that right now. We just shifted our training to online. We take people through the virus and how you become infected, and then how you address a situation to sanitize or disinfect.”
Olinger also talked about handling products and sharing delivery vehicles between drivers. She explained that the virus can live on surfaces, but not for an extended period of time. “Remember that time is our friend. Think about the things in your head, the scenarios of what you need to do immediately, and what you can let sit for a few days.”
You can find the training modules by going to www.issa.com. And you can hear Olinger’s thoughts on the future of how businesses will be run following the COVID-19 outbreak on the “DistributED with tED magazine” podcast, which is available on all podcast players.