Kramer Tree Specialists considers the health and safety of our employees and their families our highest priority, along with the safety of our clients and communities that we work within. Our response to COVID-19 layout how we plan to navigate this crisis and achieve our goal of safety for our staff, clients, and communities. As this is an evolving situation, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 and provide updates as to any changes as soon as we are able. This response is subject to changes at any time as deemed necessary.
Our office and operations remain open, but at minimum staff levels with all staff able to work from home doing so. We do ask for the foreseeable future, that all non-employee, non-work-related visitation to our office is halted. We will not be accepting any unplanned visitors into our office. Essential client and vendor related meetings will continue as necessary. Our mulch product and brush drop off sales window will remain open.
Government regulations or executive orders may impact these operations, but at this time our services are deemed essential service in the Illinois Stay at Home Executive Order. We are ceasing services of ours that do not fit into the definition of essential services per the executive order, which includes holiday lighting and our urban wood products and custom milling operations.
Employee/Client Responsibility & Workplace Safety/Operations
It is important that all employees and clients practice safe and responsible hygiene procedures as it relates to COVID-19. This includes frequent hand washing with soap and/or hand sanitizing, covering coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the inside of your elbow, avoiding person to person contact, etc. Posters are throughout our facility referring to acceptable guidelines for personal hygiene to reduce the risk of the spread of viruses or bacteria.
Protocols for protecting yourself and others in the workplace against COVID-19 is outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention guidelines. These are simple everyday practices that can be used at both home and the workplace to protect against bacteria and viruses.
- Wash hands with soap, frequently and vigorously (at least 20 seconds per wash)
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow
- Avoid touching your face
- Maintain 6’ or more distance between you and others
- Utilize non-medical face covering when possible
We are making every effort possible to sustain an adequate supply of personal sanitation items to keep all workspaces clean and safe. These items include hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the office as well as sanitation wipes (or spray products) for work vehicles, equipment, and workspaces. These items are at a limited capacity in the marketplace during this time and we are doing our due diligence to maintain stock of these items as best as possible. Employees are expected to follow best practice guidelines and frequently clean personal workspace items that are frequently touched, such as your desk, keyboard, mouse, steering wheel, dashboard, etc.
We have adjusted multiple operational practices to reduce exposure within our office and field staff operations across all departments. We have reduced our office staff to the absolute minimum to reduce exposure in our office to those that must be present in the building. All staff capable of working from home are doing so indefinitely, reducing our staff throughout our facility at any given time of about 10 people max. All field staff schedules across all departments are staggered to support social distancing. Our sales team will conduct all job briefs via phone with crew leaders as much as possible and face to face appointments with clients are suspended at this time. All field operations have been directed to have only one person per vehicle, in some cases, this involves driving their own vehicle to the job site, this again is to reduce exposure amongst staff and mitigate spread. All hourly employees have been set up to be able to punch in through either their mobile device or desktop. This will reduce the number of people touching the regular time clock and mitigating an area of high touch in the office.
The mulch window is our only point of sale location in the company. Only one person will be allowed in the mulch window lobby at any given time. Our office staff will keep their windows closed to act as a barrier and the person must stand back from the window as far as possible to achieve social distancing guidelines. Clients will be encouraged to pay for brush drop off and/or mulch products by non-cash means. Office staff will be provided face masks, gloves for handling cash, delivery shipments, etc. Our Office Manager will identify all-cash transaction clients at the mulch window over the past and with her team, proactively reach out to them to encourage transactions to be completed by means other than cash. At this time, cash transactions are not suspended, but clients are strongly encouraged to utilize other means if possible.
Our daily cleaning of our facility will prioritize a focus on sanitation and disinfectant of all high touch areas. Documented cleaning schedules will be posted in all restrooms and a master sheet of facility cleaning will be documented daily for cleaning of all areas and areas of priority. These areas include doors, door handles, light switches, countertops, desks, etc. Every effort possible will be made to ensure a clean and safe work environment.
All company gatherings or functions of 10 or more people will be halted. This also includes non-emergency staff meetings, company parties/cookouts, potlucks, birthday cakes or any food sharing event. It will be our goal to maintain teams working in small groups (5 or less) to reduce the risk of spread.
As this situation is dynamic and ever-changing, operations will continually adjust as necessary. All updates to this document will be notified to our staff and posted on our website.
Kramer Tree Specialists
COVID-19 Response Team
Below is our team of staff helping to coordinate our response to this situation. Any of us can be contacted with any questions or further clarification.
Paul Filary, Director of Operations Jeff Kramer, Owner Todd Kramer, Owner
Bunny Peters, Administration Manager Jim Clancy, Safety & Production Manager