IBEW Local 1 and contractors with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) – St. Louis Chapter are adapting to serve critical community power and communication needs while keeping their members and workforce safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m very proud of our membership,” Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs said. “Their skills, safety and reliability are invaluable at any time, but especially so in these times when we must meet truly essential and critical needs.”
NECA partners with Local 1 to form the Electrical Connection.
ST. LUKE’S PREPARATIONS
Guarantee Electrical Construction has been working with Local 1 to install power for COVID-19 testing tents and triage units at hospitals throughout the area.
On March 24, Guarantee began a two-day set up to install power for a COVID-19 testing station at St. Luke’s Hospital, which entailed running about 700 feet of cable from the main building to a 200-amp panel and a 100-amp feed for a trailer. They also installed lighting and heaters in two small tents, lights and heaters for the testing tent and power for a supply trailer and a small office trailer.
The assignment relied heavily on Guarantee’s pre-fabrication operation to expedite materials needed for the installation.
“Over the years, we have perfected our ability, not only to manufacture our own components, but to modularize large elements that contain all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing prefabrication, such as, headwalls, pipe/duct/conduit racks, skids, and complete bathrooms,” said Dave Gralike, president of the Missouri branch of Guarantee.
“The advantages of prefabrication and modularization include a higher quality product, safer environments, schedule acceleration, and most important in relation to the pandemic, there are less craftspeople required to be on a project. Prefabbing our work allows us to better control social distancing, keeping our essential workforce protected from the spread of coronavirus.”
SET-UP AT MERCY HOSPITALS
On March 23, Guarantee worked with Local 1 to set up temporary triage and COVID-19 testing facilities for Mercy Creve Coeur and Mercy South.
Guarantee set up temporary power, lighting and heat for the tents as well as fiber and copper networks. It is scheduled to do similar work at Mercy in Washington, Mo.
KEEPING WORKERS SAFE
Meanwhile, working with Local 1, Guarantee has established healthcare safety protocols to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect its workforce, including
- Creating mobile COVID-9 Defense Unit lockable carts with personal protective equipment and other safety items for work in contagious areas.
- Keeping workers informed on health issues.
- Ensuring there are hand-washing stations.
- Social distancing on job sites.
“We’ve adapted our experience in critical care systems, healthcare work requirements, infection prevention protocols and accelerated schedules to meet the demands of this healthcare crisis,” said Gralike.
For more than 100 years, IBEW/NECA contractors have established and followed safety protocols and systems for all work sites to protect workers and the public and continue to serve with reliable and dependable expertise when needed.
Learn more about the Electrical Connection at www.electricalconnection.org.