Contributed by Brett Lang, General Manager of Smyth Air Conditioning Inc., Lake Worth, FL
Masks, gloves, shoe covers, sanitizers, wipes, disinfectants, antimicrobial soap and sprays. As an HVAC contractor in this crazy new COVID-19 world these are items we’ve all had and used when necessary. In normal times, shoe covers and maybe gloves were the only items needed. We would only wash our hands when they were dirty to avoid fingerprints and smudge marks in our customer’s homes. We were thinking only about general cleanliness and care of the customer property. Now we’re calling these items Personal Protective Equipment. Now we’re using them for the health and safety of our employees and customers. It’s not just about perception of care anymore. If you’re not using all of the PPE’s you may not be allowed to perform any work. If you don’t use them you may no longer have a customer. They have become “essential,” at least until the pandemic has passed.
As HVAC contractors we are lucky enough to be in an industry that is vital to the health and safety of our communities. Hopefully it allows you to continue operating your business and stay busy. Our services are critical to maintaining residences, computer systems, hospitals, laboratories, grocery stores, fire stations, police stations and of course the factories that make those PPE’s, which apparently includes Toilet Paper for a good portion of the population. And now that most of the country is under Stay at Home orders, we are important to the well-being, safety and stress of having to be cooped up for several weeks with our loved ones. All of this amplified for those who have loved ones in crowded nursing homes. We worry about our front-line responders and elderly, and more so if they are without a working HVAC system. We are important to our community and our country. We are “essential.”
The flip side to being essential is having to navigate the burden of working in an altered environment. We don’t yet know how long this will last, but for now we are part of the solution for this enormous problem that has affected all of us one way or another. Your employees are essential to you and counting on you to pull them through. Some of your staff may be dealing with issues outside of work, whether it be a health compromised family member, or school-aged children at home. Maybe you’re short staffed and not able to cover the needs of your clients.
Hopefully you’re able to support their needs and obtain the necessary PPE’s for everyone’s safety and peace of mind. We are lucky compared to the hairdresser, DJ or any other business that had to shut down completely. Having been considered essential at least gives us the opportunity to support the needs of those who count on us. Be a solution. Be safe. Be essential and protect them with the essentials they need.