Behind the Scenes at Tecta: Keeping Employees Safe During the Pandemic
- Posted by: Tecta America
- Category: Featured Articles
Early in 2020, the roofing industry was declared an essential industry, which meant Tecta America, the nation’s premier commercial roofing contractor, had to act swiftly to protect employees. Tecta America’s Safety and Risk Management Team assisted its operational units with the development of a COVID-19 operational procedure designed to help control wide spread viral infections throughout the company.
Mark Viola, Vice President of Safety & Risk Management, developed procedures before the Center for Disease Control (the CDC) declared a pandemic. “I pulled out plans previously made during the H1N1 crisis a decade prior. My team took a look at them to figure out how we could incorporate them into our safety and operations plans as news of the virus was coming out,” he said. “There was no guarantee the roofing industry would be considered essential. But we started playing out scenarios and developing operational plans based on data to determine how employees could work safely.”
Under Tecta America’s operations plan, roofers and other field employees are provided with masks and have access to portable sanitation stations. Offices were optimized with sneeze guards and social distancing measures, and employees that could work from home were encouraged to do so. Tecta America is made up of a network of 74 locations and more than 3,500 roofing professionals across the country. “Employees accepted and adapted to the new procedures,” he said.
Early on in 2020, the Safety Team in Mankato, Minnesota stockpiled thermometers, masks, and other safety supplies for Tecta America’s employees. It was important to have those stockpiles in case any operating units across the country ran out of supplies.
Because Tecta America has operating units across the country, the safety and risk management team had to adapt their operations plans to accommodate different coronavirus restrictions and mask mandates in different states. “We worked with states and counties and monitored detailed data to understand how our employees would be impacted by the virus,” he said. “With that data, we determined whether to relax or raise restrictions. We also followed the CDC guidelines.”
Tecta America is a collaborative company, and operating unit employees in each state coordinated with employees in human resources, safety and risk management, and operations to conduct contact tracing whenever an employee became ill.
“If someone got sick or was exposed to someone with the virus, we performed contact tracing to figure out who had been around that employee,” he said. Mark attributes Tecta America’s resilience during the pandemic to the transparency between corporate and the operating units.
“Communications were strong between the operating units and corporate. We were able to operate in and around hotspots,” he said. “This was possible because of the way Tecta America was formed; the corporate teams back the individual operating units on whatever they need.”
Tecta America will keep its current Covid-19 operational procedures in place for the foreseeable future. “We won’t be taking any chances. We want to keep our employees safe. We will continue to monitor data and follow CDC guidelines until it is safe to ease our current procedures,” he said.