It is impossible to think or talk about anything today outside of COVID-19. While we are all doing our part to limit the spread of the virus, we want you to know that we are on your side and we will continue to communicate with you as any new information becomes available. We are following the PA Department of Health @PAHealthDept on Twitter and @GovernorWolf on Facebook as the most direct source of factual, up-to-the-minute information, and encourage you to access these government resources.We understand the stress that this rapidly evolving public health crisis is real, but we must all do our best to remain calm and follow the guidelines. If you or someone in your family are feeling anxious or overwhelmed by COVID-19 — you are not alone. It is okay to reach out for help. If you need someone to talk to, text PA to 741-741. It’s free, confidential and available 24/7. Currently, the Erie Wabtec facility remains a low risk or what is classified as a “negligible” site. We continue to monitor this closely and will quickly communicate any change in status directly to you. As we see the number of positive tests increase across the region, we must all do our part to take the necessary precautions in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Governor Wolf is taking decisive measures to prevent the Covid-19 virus from spreading including the closure of non-critical business on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. As you know, our industry is considered an essential service or sector identified by the government and will remain operational. The Governor is relying on businesses to follow all precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. As individuals, it is crucial that we all continue to do our part to protect ourselves, our families, and, by extension, our community. With our members’ health in mind, the Executive Board discussed concerns that hand sanitizer is not available and considered all precautions that could be taken to support our members who are doing their part to limit the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, the lack of access to hand sanitizer was raised during the Wabtec “all hands” conference call. The company is addressing the issue. In the meantime, and per the CDC, washing your hands regularly is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself. We encourage every employee to read and follow the CDC, OSHA and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines on how to protect yourself. CDC, OSHA, PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH GUIDELINES • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 60 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands! • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items. • Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better. • For more information go to https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx\ https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html The discussions with the Executive board resulted in several additional measures that we think the company should consider to further mitigate exposure. We will request that the company implement the following during this public health crisis: • T-low all non-essential employees and require anyone who can work from home to do so. • Provide all employees with disinfectant spray and wipes and provide additional time to wipe down tools and machines at shift changes. • Facilitate 6’0” of separation between employees. • Schedule staggered breaks. • Shift schedules to straight eight hours. • Request volunteers to work over 3 shifts to reduce exposure. • Implement rolling lack of works at 50% of the workforce.
NOTE: Effective March 13, 2020 -April 12, 2020 employees who call off at least one hour before their scheduled start time will not be assessed attendance points and will not be required to use their paid time off if they choose not to. In addition, if an employee is at work and needs to leave because they are ill the same will apply. As a reminder, the call-off number is (814)875-4000.