Our associate Kelvin Eades has recently returned from deployment in Kuwait. COVID protocols are difficult here at home, but overseas they can be quite a challenge.
Here is Kelvin’s feedback about dealing with COVID while deployed and how it can give us insights to improve business operations stateside:
- My experience with COVID can translate to working conditions here at home by focusing on messaging. Get the facts about COVID, such as how it can transmit, how long it takes before a person shows signs, symptoms, and the overall goal of the vaccines. My experience can show there is a way of prevention and protection from COVID and those that may be asymptomatic.
- The one thing we had a hard time compensating for was the number of soldiers that constantly came into the country weekly that were unvaccinated and did not believe in COVID.
We had a plan that would allow COVID testing as soon as they got off the plane. Anyone testing positive went into quarantine for 10 days and those that were contact traced went into isolation for 14 days. Those that were contact traced were tested on day three and day five. If their results came back positive, they moved over to quarantine. If they remained negative, they stayed in isolation.
- There were many soldiers in a leadership position that refused to believe COVID would negatively affect them or their unit so they would consistently not wear a face covering. This was addressed by closing some of the recreation activities that soldiers like, such as the gym, basketball court, and movie theater.
When the number of COVID cases lowered, those activities would open, and when cases rose, those things would close. Any soldiers found not social distancing or not wearing a face covering properly or at the right time, they would be corrected. We also had hand sanitizing stations at all building entrances and throughout the buildings.
- Finally, my deployment helped me prepare for business because I understand the resistance to COVID and the mitigation process.
Although there was resistance, the rising case count forced some in a leadership position to acknowledge COVID was real and, with the right messaging from us on the ground, helped those leaders buy into prevention and protection.
The United States Department of Defense provides information to service members and their families. Here is an example of one of their COVID warnings:
Unfortunately, scams prey on fears about the coronavirus disease, trying to trick service members and family members into revealing sensitive information or donating money to a fraudulent cause. Bogus emails that look legitimate can offer fake alerts or information about the outbreak, fake workplace policy updates or fake medical advice. By clicking on links in these emails, you could download malware or have your identity stolen.
There are safety measures you can take to protect yourself. Avoid clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails. Use trusted sources such as legitimate government websites for information. Don’t reveal personal or financial information. Avoid emails that insist you act now. Remember, there are always people looking to take advantage of a crisis to harm others – be vigilant!
Contact Spencer-SHE to schedule a compliance course with Kelvin Eades. He provides training on numerous topics including COVID and OSHA compliance courses. As an OTI Instructor, Kelvin will be back providing OSHA 30-hour courses this month.
Spencer-SHE has been providing Safety, Health and Environmental Compliance Guidance since 1980, offering clients cost-effective, turn-key solutions. Contact us here or via the website now for our COVID Management in the Workplace Classes and the OSHA 30-hour Construction Classes.
Kelvin Eades, Senior Advisor