As telecom companies across the country are adapting to the new business challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, STAC members have expressed two main areas of concern: getting crews to the job site and keeping them safe on the site and on the road.
This post is about what STAC is doing to help our members on both of these fronts, and about what you can do to help protect the entire Canadian tower community.
To ensure crews can continue to carry out their important work on critical communications infrastructure during times of government-enforced lockdowns and quarantines, various provinces have identified telecommunication providers, and businesses that support their operations, as being exempt from mandated temporary business closures and other related measures.
In turn, service operators and site-owners have begun providing contractors and engineers with letters that verify that the work being carried out is considered essential, and asking that they be provided with access to roadways and job sites as need be.
While there is reason for optimism that this approach will ensure the free movement of telecom crews across the country, STAC and CWTA will continue to monitor the situation. We are maintaining open lines of dialogue with the federal and provincial governments to ensure that all are aware of the need to continue this important work throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
As such, we ask STAC member companies to inform STAC of any difficulties their crews encounter when travelling throughout the country. This includes restrictions on crossing provincial borders, travelling to a job site, or gaining access to a site itself. By collecting this information, STAC is hoping to identify any patterns or specific areas of concern, and to work with the local or provincial authorities, as necessary, to help ensure crews are able to complete their work unimpeded.
Importantly, your first contact should you encounter any issues should always be the client for whom the job is being completed and we are asking that you pass along any pertinent information to STAC only as time permits.
STAC Workplace Health & Safety Committee
In an effort to help companies protect tower industry employees from the threat of COVID-19, the STAC Steering Committee has asked STAC to hold biweekly meetings of the STAC Workplace Health & Safety Committee, with a strict focus on COVID-19 safety.
These meetings will be used as an opportunity for tower companies across the country to identify their concerns and issues, as well as any gaps in their ability to properly protect their employees and colleagues. We will also use these meetings to discuss COVID-19 resources
STAC will be holding the first special meeting of the Workplace Health & Safety Committee meeting on Monday, March 30 at 11:30 a.m. EDT, and a calendar invitation will be sent out to committee members shortly. If you are interested in joining these calls but are not already a member of the STAC Workplace Health & Safety Committee, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request to be added to the committee list.
Finally, please do not hesitate to contact us at any point if there are any other COVID-19 related concerns or questions that you believe STAC should address on these committee calls or could otherwise be of assistance with. We are here to help.
Thank you all for the risks and sacrifices you are making to help keep Canada’s critical infrastructure up and running during these very challenging times. STAC, the STAC Steering Committee and everyone at CWTA are hoping you all stay safe during this global health crisis.