My name is Charles Davis and I'm a General Utilities Maintenance Supervisor in the Department of Combined Utilities for the City of Norfolk.
Since the outbreak of COVID19, there have been numerous concerns regarding adequate personal protection equipment and proper social distancing. I’ve watched the City relocate office personnel to adhere to social distancing practices, but out in the field it’s not possible. The nature of work requires multiple employees to complete complex assignments.
I support the proposed permanent standard for infectious disease prevention for COVID-19.
The essential functions listed in our job description highlight the fact that we are subjected to Communicable Diseases several times a week, Physical Danger, and Various Fumes and odors daily. And as stated in the interview process “This is an Essential Position which means you may be required to work nights, weekends, and rotating shifts, and holidays in response to severe weather events and emergencies.”
As a Supervisor, my personal Health and Safety as well as that of my colleagues, who provide daily Essential Public Services, are my priority.
I’m forced to ask questions:
How expendable am I? How is expendable is my crew? Or the families we all support? We are exposed daily to COVID-19 induced work environments.
How does the City of Norfolk explain to the families of crew members when there is a loss of life due to exposure to COVID-19?
It just happened recently! We lost one of our crew members... and guess what? The City did not tell us.
The lack of empathy and the failure of preparation from department/division heads, who in some cases were also exposed and not properly vetted and/or quarantined themselves, is a major concern right now amongst my colleagues.
Currently, there is no process to follow-up with workers exposed to COVID-19.
The standard should also include a COVID-19 exposure log and requirements for managing cases.
Please Help us. Support the Front Line Workers here in the City of Norfolk.