April 24, 2020
Residents' Safety a Top Priority in Process Changes
Before Andrew Gray, a Maintenance Associate with Avenue Living Communities (ALC), steps into a building to perform a scheduled maintenance appointment, he puts on his gloves and his face mask to ensure the safety of the residents and himself.
Gray walks through the building towards his destination, a resident's home with a maintenance request. He knocks on the door and takes two steps back. Social distancing is in play. The resident opens the door while taking steps back themselves. As Gray describes it, in Regina, Sask. where he lives and works, "everybody is so aware of what is going on." It's just another day and everyone is respectful of each other.
"I don't find it too hard to change into the new way of working," says Gray, speaking upon the various measures ALC have put in place to ensure the safety of their teams and the residents who call an ALC building home.
These specific safety measures come in the form of social distancing, something we're all too familiar with, as new procedures dictate how and when a maintenance associate enters a suite.
Work is categorized into a priority system based upon potential risk to employees and the urgency of the work that needs to be completed. Residents are asked a series of questions to identify these potential risks and ensure safety.
The ideal scenario for maintenance work requires the resident to vacate the suite while the work order is fulfilled. Work may still be completed if the resident is home and comfortable, where they are requested to step in to a different room in order to physically distance. Additionally, these ALC team members, in particular, wear the right protective equipment that the job calls for.
"It's very important... wearing the mask and the gloves. It's going to protect our residents, my fellow coworkers, and it's going to protect me and my family. I see my role as an essential service because it's our job to take care of many families - to make sure they have the services they need so they feel safe and comfortable in their home.
"I think residents feel confident in knowing we take the necessary safety precautions like wearing the gloves and the masks," says Gray.
"It gives them piece-of-mind."
He is doing his part, his duty of care, to make sure the residents feel safe in the properties he works in. While his, and ALCs, pro-active approach has received great feedback through Gray.
"I had an encounter with a resident who works from home. When we talk, I can tell she is very happy with the way we have prepared for our appointment. She can see the necessary safety precautions are taken for the residents' safety. It is getting noticed."
Gray takes pride in knowing the company he works for is taking the right steps. He says he is noticing less people around in Regina, but when he does see someone, "they are taking extra moments to have conversations" where they otherwise would not. It's encouraging for him to receive positive comments.
"Having that extra minute, giving advice. I can see it in their faces how relieved they are that we're [ALC] doing great."
While, Gray's interactions with residents have been positive, he also says the communication and team spirit is keeping his team together and strong in knowing that the ALC team is working together to keep everyone safe.
"Because we are taking efforts to social distance, we don't see each other as often anymore. The best thing about our teamwork right now is we're in constant communication," said Gray.
"I personally really love and enjoy working with Avenue Living. This company really feels like a family."