Now that the Virginia Association of Surveyors (VAS) has been successful in working with Governor Northam to keep surveying firms open for business and defined as an essential business, it is important to remember that with that right comes a tremendous responsibility.
All Virginia surveyors must be vigilant in adopting best practices these challenging and threatening times. Working with our risk and insurance partner, the Klein Agency,we recommend the following practices that may offer some guidance:
How to avoid spreading the virus
Greater frequency of disinfectant cleaning throughout the office, in vehicles, and on field equipment. Be certain that your employees, including field crews, have supplies of water, disinfectant, hand sanitizers, and other materials to keep clean the surfaces, equipment and other items employees and colleagues will be touching
Encourage frequent hand washing
If an employee shows symptoms, lives with someone who is sick, or has been exposed to someone who is sick, that employee should be encouraged and empowered to stay home from work
Follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine and testing until the employee is cleared.
All staff should maintain at least 6’ distance and avoid congregating
Limit/exclude office visitors of any kind (including family members of employees)
Prioritize online (i.e. Zoom/Skype) meetings and conference calls with both clients and staff
Encourage and support “social distancing” of field personnel, including but not limited to:
Use of mobile communication equipment as an alternative to speaking at closer range
Limit the number of personnel in any vehicle to one, with additional personnel following in another company vehicle or one’s own personal vehicle
Note that when a personal vehicle is used for company business, it is that employee’s personal auto insurance that will respond as primary if involved in an accident
Usually included, but recommend reviewing with your firm’s commercial auto insurance provider that the firm’s auto policy provides excess protection for the firm
If restrictions tighten, provide all employees with a letter for personal and company vehicles (on employer’s letterhead) confirming they are working for an essential business as defined by the government agencies
When working remotely:
If/when setting up a remote workplace for staff, consider:
Consistency of this offering among all staff with similar responsibilities
Network (cyber) security and file storage, including but not limited to:
Access to server
Virus protection and firewalls
Remote Internet speed/bandwidth impact on CAD production workflow
Integration of remote workflow into file backup procedures.
Thank you for your continued membership, participation and support with VAS. Communication is encouraged as we all make our way through this together. Please, do not hesitate to contact VAS if we can be of any assistance, or contact the Klein Agency if you need assistance with any risk, liability, best practices, or insurance questions.
Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you at VAS events once such gatherings are permitted to resume.