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Staying mobile... but at a distance

image credit: Credit: Duquesne Light

Duquesne Light detailed for a reporter at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper the extent to which its work crews are being protected as they move across Allegheny and Beaver counties in Pennsylvania during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, the utility is splitting up its crews, spreading them out over different locations, renting extra cars to give crew member a dedicated vehicle and staggering shifts to avoid contact. As the newspaper reported, gone for now are the days of a work crew "huddling over a map to parse circuit information." A job that involves more than one person entering a manhole to access underground equipment now requires what the paper described as "modern-day medieval armor."

Likewise, on the gas distribution side of things, the newspaper wrote about a group of 10 gas controllers and two supervisors working at People Gas. On a typical day, these workers are located close together in a control room where they monitor Peoples’ pipelines and facilities in real time. Since the onset of the pandemic, those specialists have been split into two locations as a precaution. The thinking is that if one group is compromised, there is no cross contamination with the other group.

David Wagman's picture

Thank David for the Post!

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Dudley McFadden's picture
Dudley McFadden on May 21, 2020 2:25 pm GMT

We had a similar challenge at our concrete dams with internal galleries.  Workers definitely share some of the same air when accessing inspection points inside the dam.  A basic mask isn't sufficient while you're ascending 200 ft on stairs.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 21, 2020 4:30 pm GMT

What solutions did you end up coming to? The more effective type masks that healthcare workers need? Smaller crews? 

Paul Korzeniowski's picture
Paul Korzeniowski on May 28, 2020 6:37 pm GMT

Interesting points. I wonder what will happen as restrictions are lifted. These new regulations are introducing new inefficiencies and costs into existing business processes.  Somewhere, somehow, these costs will need to be accounted for. 

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