Branscome’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Updates from Branscome on COVID-19:

3/23/2020:

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced the closure of all schools through the academic year as well as the closure of all non-essential businesses. Please be aware that our business is considered essential and we have had communications from VDOT and other customers that they need us to continue to prosecute their work. 

We recognize these closures will put more complications on your home life. Please work with your supervisor to address any individual scheduling needs you may have. If you are sick please stay home, contact your doctor and notify your supervisor. 

Please know that the health and safety of our employees is our greatest concern. It is for this reason we have developed the guidelines below. Please take the time to review the guidelines and make sure we maintain strict adherence at work and at home. Governor Northam also stressed the key aspects of maintaining 6 feet of social distance as well as limiting any gathering to 10 people or less. Please make sure to follow these requirements during safety meetings, huddles and any other Branscome meetings.  

COVID – 19

SYMPTOMS

The virus can cause illness ranging from mild to severe and, in rare cases can be fatal. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  Other affected people have reported other non-respiratory symptoms. Many cases are referred to as asymptomatic, which means that individuals report no symptoms at all.  According to the CDC, symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

HOW THE VIRUS SPREADS

The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person including the following:

  • Between people who are in close proximity, generally less than 6 feet, with other people that are infected.
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • There is a possibility, however not likely, that the virus can be transmitted by touching a surface or object that has COVID-19 on it and then touching one’s own mouth, nose, or possibly the eyes.
  • People are most contagious when they are symptomatic, for example, experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.
  • Additionally it is thought that asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic individuals can and do spread COVID-19.

SOCIAL DISTANCING- GENERAL GUIDELINES

Company social distancing guidelines are a key strategy to protect staff by minimizing their contact with other people. These guidelines are not all-inclusive, are a minimum, and may become more stringent based on criteria set forth by the company and or governing authorities.

SOCIAL DISTANCING- FIELD OPERATIONS

These minimum guidelines are intended for production operations, such as shop operations, plants, quarries, construction projects, etc.

  • Do not share pens/pencils.
  • Drivers should continue to drive the same truck.
  • Frequently sanitize the cab of equipment and vehicles.  Provide time for employees to perform these tasks.
  • Drivers should not exit their vehicles for any reason other than an emergency or to use a restroom during the work shift.
  • No congregating in job offices or break areas.
  • Ensure that social distancing of 6 feet is in place when required to have face-to-face meetings with inspectors.  Meet with inspectors via phone or on-line if possible.
  • Do not share tools if possible.  Use disinfecting procedures on shared tools.
  • Eliminate all non-essential employees and visitors from coming to facilities and job-sites (i.e. sales calls).
  • When deliveries are being made, ensure social distancing measures are in place.  This may include a segregation box for delivery tickets.
  • Third party haulers must remain in their vehicles.  When not possible, implement additional cleaning and disinfecting procedures as determined necessary.  
  • Eliminate ride sharing.
  • Management should work with closed doors where there are job offices.
  • All written tickets, requisitions, etc… should be done electronically if possible. Segregation boxes may be required.
  • On-site supervision will determine further distancing measures as appropriate for the location.

HYGIENE MEASURES

Basic Hygiene Measures.  Hygiene measures must be reinforced and employees should be encouraged to practice them to minimize potential transmission of COVID-19.

Hand Cleaning Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and industrial hand cleaning products per the manufacturer’s instructions.  Wash your hands often, especially: before, during, and after you prepare food; before you eat; after you use the restroom; when your hands are dirty; more frequently when someone at home is sick; and in particular after coughing, sneezing, or using tissues. 

Sneezing and Coughing Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, preferably cough or sneeze into your elbow or a single use tissue.  Dispose of used tissues immediately.  

Face and Eyes Keep hands away from the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, and nose.  Do not touch your face.  

Hygiene Information – Communicate personal hand hygiene information to employees and third parties (visitors, subcontractors, inspectors, etc…).

Housekeeping, Environment Cleaning, and Disinfecting Ensure that all surfaces and common shared surfaces are disinfected daily, for example, table tops, desktops, door handles, copy machine buttons, phone receivers, keyboards, hand and power tools, and construction equipment.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND RESTRICTING WORK ENTRY

It is critical and mandatory that individuals call in and not report to work while they are experiencing illness symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, chills, fatigue, or other flu-like symptoms.  Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop these symptoms and be tested for COVID-19 if testing is available. If tested, employees are not to report to work until results are reported back and the employee is negative. The employee must submit a physician’s note (electronic or visually seen) that he/she is cleared for return to work after a positive test.  This may include completing a required quarantine. It is important to note that infected employees having recovered are unlikely to be re-infected and should be encouraged to return to work as soon as they are well with appropriate clearance.

BEST PRACTICES

To reduce the risk of exposure to yourself or others, please apply these COVID-19 best practices:

  • Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
  • If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
  • If your children are sick, keep them at home. Contact your medical provider.
  • If someone in your household has tested positive for the Coronavirus, keep the entire household at home.
  • If you are an older American, stay home and away from other people.
  • If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition—such as a significant heart or lung problem—stay home and away from other people.
  • Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others.  It is critical you do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people. 
  • Avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts – use drive thru, pickup or delivery options.
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
  • Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Practice good hygiene.
  • Wash your hands especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
  • Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

 3/16/2020:

Our leadership team continues to monitor the impact from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Branscome will implement precautionary measures as necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and partners.

To Our Partners:

We are fully operational and our team is continuing work on projects as well as operating all our asphalt, concrete and aggregate facilities. At this time, we want to make you fully-aware that we have taken proactive measures to enable our staff to work safely and remotely while remaining productive. We have technology in place that allows us to minimize staff contact with the public while keeping work moving and our facilities accessible to all our business partners.

As a precautionary measure, we are limiting visits to Branscome offices by anyone other than Branscome office staff, unless absolutely necessary. Please know that this is an attempt to protect your health, maintain our employee’s safety, and do our part to minimize any potential impact of COVID-19 on area hospitals. We are prepared to host and attend conference calls and video meetings and, as always, you can reach out to your primary Branscome contact if you have any questions or issues.

As the situation evolves, we will notify you of any change to our operating schedule.

To Our Staff:

If you are an employee that is not on a job site or at a plant location, and you have the ability to work remotely, please do so until further notice. If you require any material from your office (e.g., laptop, documents), please pick up the items as soon as possible, and refer to the instruction guide provided to connect to our secured network from a remote location.

If you are an employee working on a job site or at a plant location, please follow all recommended safety protocols and use your personal vehicle for transportation. If this is not an option, the company’s crew vehicles may be used, but only at 50% of their capacity to maintain social distancing. Management should initiate safety meetings and tailgate topics to educate and remind employees on best practices for protecting yourself and one another from infection.

The best way to prevent the spread of infection is to comply with proper hygiene measures including, but not limited to, washing your hands several times a day with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, refraining from touching your face, and abstaining from contact with another person through shaking hands, hugging, etc. All departments should limit meeting sizes to 10 people or less.

We ask that you comply with the additional recommendations, guidance, and suggestions provided. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID- 19 – fever, cough, and shortness of breath – we ask that you isolate yourself from the public and seek medical care. Additionally, if anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, please isolate yourself and do not return to work. Please notify your local Branscome Human Resources department if you are isolated and unable to come to work. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the Branscome management team if there is anything you need.

We pray for a quick return to business as usual, but for now, we believe these measures are prudent and in line with our core values of taking care of our customers and employees, as well as doing our part to help the community.

Please stay safe and well.

Buddy League

President

Branscome Inc.

More from COLAS on the COVID-19 Pandemic: https://www.colasusa.com/colas-usa-statement-on-covid-19/

https://www.colasusa.com/