COVID-19: National Grid builds safe ‘village’ for vital staff
National Grid in the UK has built a ‘village’ of sleeping pods which can house their most critical workers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The ‘village’ is in the Midlands region of England and a team of 18 people who volunteered to work over the Easter weekend and beyond are living in this temporary accommodation, which is designed to minimise the risk of them falling ill.
Once complete, the village will be able to be home to 68 team members.
The pods include a bed, a ‘comfort hamper' including photo frames for pictures of loved ones, snacks and chocolates, plus a teddy bear to keep the staff company.
Sara Habib, head of workplace services, said: “National Grid has a critical role in keeping the country’s power and gas flowing in these challenging times.
“Our control rooms are the beating heart of our networks, so we’ve been working hard to ensure our teams have everything they need to get the job done, and that they and their loved ones are kept safe. It’s been a great effort by the site team to get the sleep pods ready, which means we can keep teams separate and minimise the risk of people falling ill.”
The ability to sleep on site is just part of a wide range of resilience and security measures put in place by National Grid, including fully operational back-up locations for their control centres and additional training for their engineers so they can do multiple roles.
Andy Eagle is a shift manager for National Grid’s transmission network team and said: “It’s a big sacrifice in terms of being away from our loved ones and families, but it’s one we’re all willing to make to ensure we can help keep the lights on for the country.”