Media Release: WEL Networks 'WEL-Prepared' with COVID-19 Response

23 Mar 2020

Lifeline utility WEL Networks have put in place a number of measures to ensure essential electricity services are maintained in the Waikato region as part of its response to COVID-19.

“The health and safety of our team and our communities is our priority. We’ve taken a proactive approach by implementing our business continuity plan earlier this year - prior to the arrival of COVID-19 in New Zealand - to ensure potential impacts to our network are minimised to the best of our ability. We’re WEL-prepared,” WEL Networks Chief Executive Garth Dibley says.

As part of WEL Networks response, measures implemented include increased cleaning procedures, social distancing, self-isolation for staff who have returned from overseas or who show any sign of illness, cancellation of all unnecessary face-to-face meetings and internal events as well as all non-essential domestic and international travel.

WEL Networks’ system control centre has also been isolated in an effort to further reduce unnecessary interactions.

“In order to reduce the risk of infection, we’ve asked our field and office staff to avoid shaking hands and to keep a two metre personal distance during all site visits. We’re providing additional guidance on personal hygiene for our staff in addition to increased cleaning procedures. Hand sanitising products have also been distributed throughout the business and we’ve closed our reception from visitors,” he says.

From Monday (today), the majority of WEL Networks employees will be working remotely, in a split team structure, from different locations to ensure business capability remains strong. This will be assessed on a daily basis. 

An Incident Management Team that includes senior leadership has been established to monitor and to co-ordinate WEL Networks response.

“As the situation unfolds, we’re closely monitoring updates from the Ministry of Health and assessing the best course of action to ensure the continued safety of our team and our communities. As a lifeline utility, we are and will continue to do everything we can in our power to ensure our communities receive a safe and reliable electricity supply,” he says.

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Samantha McPherson

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