A response plan for Covid-19April 9, 2020
Eugene Tiah, executive chairman of Massy Energy and Industrial Gases, talks to The Energy Year about how the company is coping with the Covid-19 crisis. Massy Energy and Industrial Gases works to provide industrial gases regionally and is part of the Massy Group which is comprised of about 60 companies that work in the Caribbean and Colombia.
How has Massy Energy and Industrial Gases responded to the Covid-19 pandemic?
We have implemented a number of response plans to minimise the risk of contracting and spreading the virus if contracted. These inter alia include the implementation of good personal hygiene practices, in particular hand sanitising and sanitising hard surfaces and frequented facilities in the workplace, as well as ensuring the use of masks and other PPE equipment on top of the usual protective equipment.
We are also limiting our on-site workforce to only those who are essential. All other workers are to work from home using various IT tools and we have restricted access by visitors and customers to the sites. Those who do come have to fill out screening questionnaires assessing the risk of them having been exposed to persons that have Covid-19 before they are allowed on site and we check all visitors’ temperatures with an infrared temperature recording device at security before they are allowed on site.
For those who are on site, we have set up various shifts and rosters and mechanisms for handover that don’t require face-to-face interactions. We have procedures in place whereby workers will self-isolate for 14 days if they have been in any at-risk situations for contracting the virus, for example recent travel, or if they have flu-like symptoms.
All business continuity plans have been implemented and where necessary upgraded to address the expected business continuity needs. Specifically, the plans have focused on ensuring that necessary financial and other critical resources are available as required, and that IT systems to support remote transactions and remote working are fully functional and continuously supported. We have also run through scenario analysis and specified actions and resource plans for each scenario.
What opportunities may emerge once the pandemic is brought under control?
This will vary for our business lines. For the energy services businesses, as clients’ facilities resume normal operations there will we opportunities to execute work that has been deferred. For the gases businesses, there may be opportunities to capture market share if competitors are not able to weather the storm as well as we are able to.
How can you protect employees and ensure a thriving remote workplace?
A lot is captured in our response plans. Additionally, we strongly encourage all of the work teams to remain connected via the various IT platforms and constantly check in on each other to see how everyone is coping and to address any needs that arise. We also have plans in place for businesses that are having cashflow problems and need additional support.
Our goal is to minimise the need for any layoffs or furloughing of employees. In situations of acute cashflow challenges where there is little or no revenue to meet ongoing payroll costs, this may mean “pain sharing” by employees and the shareholders to weather the difficult period.