A reader writes: “We recently were contacted by the customer that a serious pathogen was discovered in a water sample from one source in the building. How should we proceed?”

First and foremost you should update your guidance directly from the Center for Disease Control CDC (www.cdc.gov) which should be your final authority on how to proceed. The contagion you mentioned can be fatal to those expose to it and in past events, the delivery system was both air borne and water borne. There are very specific protocols that must be followed closely in order to protect the public as well as your staff.

Following are a few points to consider:

• Go to the CDC website and appoint someone in your Safety Committee to make sure that you are in complete compliance as to notifications and protections.

• Contact local, state and other authorities regarding how to proceed since some cities and states have their own guidelines.

• Contact your medical support and give serious consideration to testing all staff that could have been exposed to these pathogens. They could have been exposed by simply being in the area and breathing the air, drinking from the water fountain or being near to someone who already has been infected.

• Immediately limit those in the area to staff who have been trained in use of PPE’s (personal protective equipment) including upgraded face masks compliant with this situation.

• Appoint someone to answer all calls from the press. This person should be knowledgeable about the situation and be accurate, truthful and careful.

• Track labor and background support closely since some costs may have to be absorbed as ordinary business costs. The customer should be willing to pay any additional costs.

• Review the specifications closely to determine requirements regarding pandemic and other emergency plans. This might be a great time to update them.

We are living in an era that requires knowledge and vigilance to protect not only your employees’ heath but also the general public. Know your part and place in the equation.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.