Gomez and Sullivan Develops Field Work and Travel Safety Protocols to Mitigate Risks of Spreading Infectious Diseases

Gomez and Sullivan Engineers recognizes that tasks involving travel and field work pose risks to both staff and clientele during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have developed comprehensive Field Work and Travel Safety Protocols to guide essential efforts and in preparation for a full return to field work. These protocols are likely to evolve as more becomes known about COVID-19 and the overall status of the pandemic.

The first step identified in the Field Work and Travel Safety Protocols is to conduct a risk assessment. Prior to field work or travel, the responsible Project Manager will complete an Infectious Disease Risk Assessment (IDRA) to determine the magnitude of risk, identify potential vectors for spreading disease, and develop risk mitigation protocols. The assessment will also help the Project Manager determine if continuing with the work is prudent or if it can and should be delayed. Once the job-specific risks are identified, mitigation protocols are prescribed accordingly. Protocols may include any combination of the following:

Pre-Job Planning

Employees will be assigned their own field equipment, and no field equipment will be shared without proper sanitization. Prior to travel and prior to beginning work each day, employees will debrief (while being at least 6 feet of each other) on safety protocols. During the debriefing, employees will certify that they have no signs of a fever or cough, have not been in contact with anyone who is COVID-19 positive, and have not been asked to self-isolate by a health care professional.

Travel

The Travel protocols prohibits the use of public transportation during the risk of spreading infectious diseases. Employees will travel in their own separate vehicles or rental cars during travel to work locations and will disinfect the frequently used areas of the vehicle (steering wheel, door handles, buttons, knobs, etc.) prior to each use and at the end of the day. Vehicles will be equipped with disposable gloves, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, disinfecting spray, facemasks, hand sanitizer, and pens. The protocols also include instructions for using public restrooms. If stopping for food is necessary during travel, employees will purchase take-out only and will not dine in at restaurants.

Overnight Stays

If possible, employees will avoid overnight stays. If staying in a hotel is necessary, employees will bring disinfecting wipes and disposable gloves with them and will disinfect all hard surfaces of the hotel room prior to use.

General Field Work

During field work, employees will remain at least 6 feet from each other. If there are tasks that require employees to be closer and cannot be avoided or altered, employees will wear proper PPE (gloves, face masks, and safety glasses).

Boating

All boats will be supplied with disposable gloves, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, disinfectant spray, face masks, hand sanitizers, hand soap and a hand-washing vessel. The Boating protocol sets limits on the number of employees that can be in a boat at a time, per boat size. It also includes instructions on how to disinfect the boat each day prior to use.