The gas-specific needs for our customers sometimes require entering a customer’s home or business. With that in mind, the gas business has taken extra precautions to ensure the safety of our workers and customers.
For the time being, gas employees may inquire whether a customer has COVID-19, has come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or may otherwise be at risk for spreading COVID-19.
- If the answer is yes, an employee will notify the gas distribution center supervisor that he or she is at a COVID-19 or possible COVID-19 location.
- Suspension of service calls are acceptable if those customers present disclose they have COVID-19 or may have been exposed, as long as a gas leak can be safely addressed with no adverse impact to the customer. The scene will be made safe from the outside and the workorder will be reevaluated after 14 days.
- After the 14-day period, the customer will be contacted to determine if it is safe from a COVID-19 standpoint for Entergy employees to return.
If a customer reports there has been no threat of COVID-19 at the home, employees will still take precautions through personal protective equipment, similar to what is worn by all first responder personnel, and follow all CDC recommended guidance, including personal hygiene guidance and social distancing.
For gas emergency response calls at homes or businesses identified to be a COVID-19 or possible COVID-19 location, we will ensure safety from the outside of the home or building by isolating the gas at the meter or nearby gas facility.
Other precautions taken by the gas business include:
- Hygiene materials for workers such as nitrile gloves, sprays and hand sanitizers.
- Maintaining distance from the customer.
- Washing hands or using hand sanitizer following customer interaction.
- Cleaning/sanitizing tools/equipment (including vehicle interior) when necessary.
- Our employees are also conducting an enhanced hazard assessment prior to entering homes and reviewing social distancing guidelines with customers.
Business Continuity and Safety
Functioning critical infrastructure is imperative during the response to the COVID-19 emergency. Electric utilities are officially designated as critical infrastructure. That means our employees will be allowed to continue performing their essential duties during periods of community restriction, social distancing or closure orders.
It's critically important to keep our operations up and running, serving our customers and communities while we all live through this crisis. That means focusing on the health and safety of all our colleagues. Therefore, we are taking preventive actions to protect our workforce, including:
- Educating employees of the proper good hygiene precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.
- We are following official public health recommendations and lowering the density of people at our company locations by making temporary telecommuting work arrangements for those employees who are not required to be at a company facility or in the field to do their work. Just as our communities have made the difficult decisions to close schools and reduce large gatherings of people, we will do the same.
- All employees are encouraged to self-check for symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu, and if detected seek medical attention.
- We have suspended all nonessential domestic and international business travel by commercial airline and other forms of mass transit. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are working with public health officials to implement recommended public health measures as directed.
We are prepared for the continued safe operation of our power plants, and transmission and distribution systems.
- We’ve restricted access to essential workers only. This includes all personnel entering a facility.
- We’ve identified which employees must work on site, which can work from home, which must work in the field, etc.
- We are limiting access to areas where employees are required to work on site, such as control rooms and control centers.
- We are sanitizing and securing access to those areas in a conscious effort to maintain a healthy work environment for those key employees.
- While stressing the importance of good hygiene practices, we’ve increased sanitation efforts across our sites. Examples of measures being taken at various facilities include additional hand washing stations strategically placed, hand washing stations at drinking water bottle stations, and sanitations supplies in restrooms.
- We’ve implemented new procedures around any large gatherings to encourage social distancing. This includes limiting the number of people for meetings, providing additional locations for lunch and break, and either canceling or virtually hosting certain meetings; this is an on-going task to continue looking for ways to achieve effective social distancing.
- There are required self-quarantine procedures for employees traveling to certain areas.
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