The Belt Railway Company of Chicago
Important information to our customers and partners regarding BRC’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
March 13, 2020
To All Concerned:
With the ongoing spread of COVID-19, the health and safety of our employees, customers and surrounding communities are our top priority. BRC’s senior leadership team is actively monitoring the situation. An internal Task Force has been formed and is exercising our response plan while continuing to review it based on on-going developments. Here are some key actions we have taken as well as general reminders on actions you should take:
- BRC is following guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and taking appropriate actions to maintain a safe workplace for our employees and to ensure the continuity of our business operations. BRC has implemented CDC recommendations for workplaces by encouraging employees to (1) practice good hygiene like handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer, (2) forego all nonessential travel and consider social distancing, and (3) stay home and seek medical attention if they are sick or have flu-like symptoms. Social distancing is a concept that uses available space to reduce the risk of infection.
- For your
own health and safety – and out of respect to the well-being of your colleagues
– we ask you take the following actions should they apply to you:
- If you are not feeling well or experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, shortness of breath, etc.), seek medical attention.
- If you or an immediate household member tests positive for COVID-19 – you must alert your supervisor and BRC’s Human Resources Department, immediately.
- If you or an immediate household member did not test positive for COVID-19, but you or your immediate household member is told by a healthcare or public health professional to quarantine for any amount of time as a result of potential exposure, you also must alert your supervisor and BRC’s Human Resources Department, immediately.
- The BRC Standards for Employee Attendance is not in conflict with these recommendations/requirements, as attendance is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Employees are expected to use customary procedures to mark-off, including timely and complete communication with the Crew Board, where applicable, and/or their usual and customary mark-off reporting supervisors.
- For our field employees, BRC is taking proactive action throughout the network. While the list is not exhaustive, I will highlight some of our efforts:
- We are making disinfecting surface
wipes available in the cabs of BRC locomotives, track machines, and all other
- We have ordered and will install additional hand sanitizer dispensing stations at high-traffic locations throughout BRC property.
- We are postponing large or nonessential gatherings when possible.
- We are working with our vendors and alternate suppliers to make hand sanitizer and disinfecting surface wipes available in areas such as meeting rooms, break rooms, locker rooms, and office facilities.
- We are preparing contingency plans to operate with reduced staffing levels, if necessary.
- We are preparing contingency plans to relocate employees as per the CDC’s social distancing guidance (i.e. physically separate employees who work in close proximity to the extent possible).
- With the onset COVID-19 in the U.S., BRC also recognizes the potential for employee stress and even confusion due to the unfolding situation. With that in mind, and to help ensure the sharing of credible and actionable information, BRC is providing employees with resources from credible sources like the WHO and CDC and is standing up an internal email to field employee questions; COVID19info@beltrailway.com which is accessible to all BRC employees.
- Employees are reminded to wash their hands regularly and/or use hand sanitizer (especially after using shared computers, desks, and work areas).
Michael J. Grace
The Belt Railway Company of Chicago