As Dallas County shelters in place, essential service workers like plumbers, HVAC technicians and electricians are continuing to enter the homes of residents — and they’re relying on customers to keep them safe.
Baker Brothers Plumbing, Air & Electric President Jimmy Dale said his company is also relying on customers to notify his company if they’re sick so that they can avoid potentially spreading coronavirus.
Still, there’s a level of risk involved.
“The fact that [workers] can spread it to other places and other people … that’s the part that really scares them and scares us,” said Dale.
Dale said Baker Brothers hasn’t run into a scenario where they might have to deny service to a customer, but that those decisions will be made by management to ensure the safety of both workers and customers. If a customer reports that someone in the household is sick when calling to request services, the company will first try to reschedule the job depending on what is being requested.
Dale has also given employees permission to refuse service at the door if they feel customers aren’t forthcoming about any potential illness in the household, or they’re uncomfortable about a job for any reason.
Baker Brothers’ 273 employees are working remotely where possible, according to Dale. Technicians who make house calls are going straight to service calls from their homes and calling in for weekly team meetings.
The company has instructed workers to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they go into homes. They’re maintaining six feet of space between themselves and customers, and also wearing protective gear including face shields and gloves. And they’re disinfecting equipment between every job.