Note: This is the first in a series of stories about how some of the departments and units at Brock University are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic measures. If you would like to tell your department’s story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
While much of the Brock community is adjusting to working remotely due to COVID-19 measures, the University’s Facilities Management employees are still hard at work on campus providing much-needed services.
The Facilities Management department has almost 200 employees. Of those, all trade and custodial staff are still working on-site to help keep the University running smoothly.
From Monday to Friday, there are 50 Facilities Management employees on campus at a time working reduced hours and in smaller shift groups to abide by physical distancing regulations.
“The response from our custodial and trades teams has been impressive,” said Dave McArthur, Director of Facilities and Services. “Their individual commitment to the group effort and positive attitude has and continues to ensure the safety and uninterrupted operation of the University and community.”
The custodial staff is on-site throughout the week working to clean and disinfect all areas of the campus that are still in operation such as Computer Commons and Campus Security to create a safe environment for all on-site essential workers. They’re also cleaning student residences for the remaining students living on campus.
Facilities Management employees are also on-site running the utility plant that provides electricity, heating and cooling to the University, and operating all mechanical systems in every building, including maintaining all of the electrical, fire and life safety systems, and elevators. Grounds crews are also working hard to maintain exterior spaces.
“Consistent with other front-line workers across the province, there is anxiety, but our Facilities Management employees have consistently come to work and know that the service they are providing is extremely important to the health and safety of the greater Brock community,” said McArthur.
To provide a safe work environment for the custodial and trade employees, the department has enacted many COVID-19 protocols.
Physical distancing, added personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks, and hosting online meetings as opposed to meeting in-person have enabled these employees to continue working in the healthiest setting possible.
“Facilities Management has tried to be in a position to react to what the campus needs,” said McArthur. “Outside of Brock, the situation is very fluid and we have been very nimble reacting to changes on a weekly, daily and even hourly basis. All of the essential workers on campus have worked really well together. The University is really being well-led in these uncertain times.”