At LCS, we always say our clients do great things. This has proven to be especially true throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Even when the world “shut down” back in 2020, the companies we work with still needed to provide their essential services in industries ranging from healthcare to medical device manufacturing to pharmaceuticals. While many business operations were forced to a halt, LCS has continued to safely provide construction services to clients that need their facilities to remain operational in order to continue creating life-saving therapies, manufacturing vital medical devices, and providing critical medical testing and services.
Even though we are accustomed to managing the challenges of working in occupied and operational facilities, our approach during a pandemic requires multi-layered strategies to effectively minimize risk. The safety measures we take to ensure the continuity of operations for our clients and our team are a high priority. Over the past year, we have embraced the challenge of developing COVID-19 safety plan to help us navigate the uncertainty during the ongoing pandemic
STRENGTHENING FIELD CREW PROTECTIONS
These times continue to be incredibly challenging for our field crews. As front-line workers, they face exposure risk due to the nature of their varying work environments. To mitigate their risk, we focus on two things: training and PPE.
Through in-house training sessions, we provide our employees updates on OSHA, CDC, construction-industry guidelines, LCS policies, and PPE reminders. We also provide all PPE such as face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies on all of our job sites. Through consistent communication and training, employees are supported through the uncertainties of the pandemic and educated on safety measures that will keep them safe to go home to their families.
CUSTOMIZING JOB SITE SAFETY PROCEDURES
The majority of our projects are in occupied and operational facilities. We pay extra attention to common areas shared by workers and our client’s personnel to minimize physical contact.
By conducting daily health checks for symptom and temperature screening and verifying worker PPE before entering a job site, we ensure the safety of not only our team but also our clients and subcontractors.
We also offer the option of a full-time dedicated COVID-19 team member per client request; this allows for an extra pair of eyes and hands dedicated to cleaning, sanitizing, and monitoring worker activity and safety.
COORDINATing WITH CLIENTS TO MAXIMIZE SAFETY
Open dialogue with our clients is a must. In order to make sure that our projects are managed in a safe way that does not affect the outcome of the project budget, schedule, or facility, we take a collaborative approach to come up with a comprehensive safety plan that meets not only our requirements, but also the client’s. We want to offer peace of mind while we’re working in any laboratory or technical facility that may require specialized safety procedures due to the nature of the project.
ENCOURAGING SAFE COLLABORATION IN THE OFFICE
With the reality that critical tasks must be performed in the office, immediate measures were taken to modify our office space in a way that allows for collaboration while still ensuring the safety of our staff. To allow for social distancing between all employees, the LCS Irvine Office was upgraded with the following COVID-19 infection and control measures:
- Installed Access Pod “Kiosk”
- Installed plexiglass partitions
- Provided hand sanitizer, paper towels, and cleaning/disinfecting supplies
- Installed visual reminders to wash hands and social distance
- Installed eight ionization devices in the AC units to reduce airborne particles
The Access Pod/Kiosk in our front lobby is an AI-powered thermal temperature screening device with facial recognition. Upon arrival at our office, all employees and guests are required to check-in at the automated Kiosk to ensure individuals entering the building are fever-free.
The plexiglass partitions allowed us to make modifications to our existing furniture and provide a barrier between individuals. At a time when connecting with humans is more meaningful, placing clear partitions around workstations, office cubicles, front desk, kitchen, and conference rooms provides the opportunity for collaboration and camaraderie whether meeting in cubicle areas or eating lunch together.
MONITORING SAFETY WITH A COVID-19 TASK FORCE
LCS’ COVID-19 Task Force created a plan based on state and local public health department guidelines and construction industry best practices. We developed our plan with flexibility in mind. As the state of the pandemic evolves over time, we are able to make appropriate modifications to our existing safety strategy.
Our task force has in-house Rapid Test Kits on hand to ensure our employees are healthy before coming to the office or entering a job site. These Rapid Test Kits provide our employees peace of mind that they are returning to work safely after being out-of-state for vacation or work assignments.
LCS’ COVID-19 Task Force keeps us informed and ensures we’re following best practices to create a safe work environment in the office and on job sites.
There are many challenges on various fronts to maintain a safe office, warehouse, and job sites. It impacts all of the work that we do with the field taking the most significant impact because their environment is continually evolving. Different clients, job sites, and logistics require coordinating daily work with varying teams of subcontractors. It takes a lot of cooperation, dedication, and trust. Our primary objective is to safeguard our field crews, subcontractors, clients and their employees on job sites. The processes and systems we have in place are efficient and working. However, we remain in uncertain times. We will stay focused on safety measures and adapting to the challenges ahead.
Our team has responded with resilience to these challenging times and has embraced this “new normal” to ensure our clients can continue to do their important work. “Peace of Mind – Perfected” is not just a slogan to us; it’s what our team brings to each client every day. As we continue delivering essential services the health and safety of our field crews and clients remains our first priority. We will remain agile and continue finding effective approaches that keep everyone safe.