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Moving, Mobility & COVID-19: A Message from northAmerican
UPDATE: With the COVID-19 Coronavirus once again gaining steam globally, with new cases growing at unprecedented rates, companies involved in relocating employees domestically and internationally are looking for news and guidance on how to do so as safely as possible for everyone involved. northAmerican is providing such guidance, with the help of our parent company, with the release of a COVID-19 Reopening Matrix. This resource will be updated as new information comes in from around the world .
northAmerican® Van Lines values the health and safety not only of our staff and members, but of course our customers. We are taking specific steps to mitigate risks to the health and safety of our employees and our customers.
The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are constantly updating their guidance, and we recommend checking their sites and / or following them on social media to receive the latest news and updates. northAmerican will continue to monitor this quickly evolving situation and provide updates when practical.
Here are some of the steps we are taking to mitigate the risk to our employees and our customers:
- When we call to reconfirm services and dates, we are advising the shipper that we would like to discuss the health and safety of both customer and our staff. We will inform the customer that we have stringent guidelines in place to avoid any of our staff that exhibit any symptoms or have traveled to high risk areas from coming into the home. This will include maintaining social distance and avoidance of handshakes.
- We will ensure that our crews have not traveled to high-risk areas and are not showing any symptoms of illness.
- We will also ask a few questions as part of protective health measures to address concerns regarding the spread and impact of the virus. We will want to know if the customer, or anyone they expect to be present in the home while our crew is there has traveled to high risk locations in the previous 14 days. We will want to know if anyone in the household is currently ill or exhibiting any signs associated with COVID-19 and ask that they not be present at the residence when our crew is there.
- Whenever possible, we are performing our pre-move surveys virtually. We are using platforms specifically developed for this purpose, applications that allow for visual conferencing, or phone surveys if necessary. If practical and necessary, we can arrange for a visual survey. In these cases, we will follow procedures to ensure the safety of our employees and the customer.
- We will require that crews follow recommended hygiene regimens like frequent hand washing. We will ensure crews have needed supplies available to ensure their good hygiene. We would ask that our customers provide them access to an adequate sink to allow them to follow these regimens.
- Our crews will be practicing “social distancing” and expect all others at residence to practice it as well.
- We ask that only those persons absolutely necessary be at the residence. Please have all other persons stay away from the residence when our crews are present.
- If practical, please have all doors to rooms and closets open so that moving crews can minimize exposure to frequently touched parts of the residence.
Beyond our recommended procedures for our crews in residence, we are taking these additional steps:
- We are keeping in communication with all stakeholders (employees, suppliers, clients etc.). We have set up SharePoint sites to communicate with our employees. We have established email accounts dedicated to receiving COVID-19 specific communications. We will publish updates to stakeholders periodically as new policies or practices warrant.
- We are monitoring government and industry updates, including disease progression, country and WHO responses, supplier and supply chain risks, and prevention and containment measures.
- We have communicated with health experts and are following recommended best practices for personal hygiene and health.
- We have implemented employee travel restrictions and are restricting anyone having traveled to or through any restricted countries from entry into any Company facility for 14 days.
- We already have in place systems for remote video meetings and will require their use for ongoing interactions between our offices, and for most customer and business partner meetings unless personal interaction is business essential. We will use virtual surveys whenever practical.
- However possible, we are looking to reduce the number of people we send to our customer’s homes.
- Employees feeling ill with symptoms of the COVID-19 virus have been directed to stay at home and seek medical attention. We have developed protocols to manage office closures, notify affected persons, and require self-quarantine for known contacts with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- In addition to current work from home capabilities, we have multiple locations geographically distanced and interconnected with global systems so that in the event a pandemic became critical in any one location, we have capability to shift certain activities in many cases to alternate sites.
- We have an executive level task force to monitor and guide policy and practice decisions for the company.
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