Public Works in the Time of COVID-19: How Will You Respond?

In the midst of so much uncertainty, our public officials and essential workers are being called on to keep our communities safe and healthy. How do governments, organizations, departments, leaders and employees respond? Often times, the best way to prepare for a response is to take stock of what personnel and resources you need, what you have in inventory and on payroll and the tasks that you will have to complete. If you are using an enterprise asset management system, especially one integrated with Esri GIS, you can do a lot of set up in your software. Here are three tips you can use to help your department respond and adapt:

1. Use your system to create reminders for cleaning, sanitizing and re-ordering

It’s no surprise that all high-traffic surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized regularly to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including doorknobs, break room appliances and bathroom faucets. In fact, your particular organization and workloads might require additional cleanings on power tools, lift buttons, communal workstations and even the interiors/steering wheels of your vehicles that aren’t assigned to one specific user. With knowledge that the virus can live on some surfaces for several days, no area should be overlooked. You can use your EAM system to display system-wide announcements and reminders for your users regarding sanitization.


2. Employ social distancing by reallocating field workers and assignments

It’s a good idea to implement policies and assignments that can accurately fit with the recommended social distancing guidelines. For example, you might find that you need to adjust shifts and payroll scheduling to ensure that there are fewer people in the office or garage at certain times. In addition, your remote work and field crews might be experiencing an increased load of work, as theirs is considered safer, since it takes place in open air and with only a partner or two. Your EAM system should be able to respond and be customizable to these changes. A robust, functional system will allow you to adjust and integrate payroll into your new work assignments so that your total budget and payroll sheets reflect your changes. At the same time, it should provide for mobile apps, especially those with a disconnected, stow-and-forward option, so that your increased field crews have access to the data they need.

3. Utilize the full extent of the work order functionality for COVID-19

At this time, you could even utilize your EAM software to design work orders specifically around cleaning and sanitizing. For each department or team, this may look entirely different. Some users will make the most out of work orders that are strictly internal and revolve completely around cleaning and sanitizing equipment, tools, high-traffic surfaces and more. For other teams, this may include meeting certain requirements when they are out in the field. For others still, it may manifest as requiring them to sanitize the cabin of a vehicle before it is returned for service. Regardless, this functionality will not only allow you to keep reminders for all of your workers, but will allow you to keep track of (and report on) all of the hours, personnel and resources that you used for the purposes of cleaning, sanitizing and keeping COVID-19 at bay.

At AssetWorks, we want to thank all of you that are working for keeping us safe, comfortable and able to use our infrastructure. We appreciate you!

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