Coronavirus: Aggreko engineers provide personal accounts of critical projects24 April 2020

Frontline engineers at temporary power and temperature supplier Aggreko have provided personal accounts surrounding some of the critical projects they are helping with during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.

As a temporary power and temperature supplier to c.100 Covid-19 projects across the UK, Aggreko says that it has adapted its business to enable 50% of staff to deliver equipment to tight deadlines on the frontline. Among the projects, it adds, are a number of temporary hospitals and mortuaries.

Field delivery engineer Neil Fitzpatrick has been installing a series of generators at a temporary hospital. The team he is working in has been able to deliver 8MW of power, via eight generators, within a matter of a few days rather than the usual two weeks.

He explains: “What’s remarkable is the sense of calm on these sites. Everyone is there to get the job done. It’s definitely presenting a new set of challenges as working in tight spaces to get cables connected could certainly compromise social distancing rules, but everyone’s professionalism has ensured that doesn’t happen.”

Another frontline worker is Malcolm Shearer, a service centre manager, who is responsible for a team of four engineers called upon to deliver eight 500kVA generators across two temporary mortuaries. During the quotation period, two of his engineers were required to self-isolate for personal reasons, which presented an immediate team challenge.

He explains: “We’re fortunate to have a business full of people who put their personal lives on hold for the critical work we deliver. As soon as it was announced that two of my team were self-isolating, a number of colleagues stepped forward before even being asked.

“In this particular situation we needed to carry out two similar jobs with the same crew of people, and to the same completion deadline. It was never going to be an easy feat but by everyone rallying together, making critical decisions on the spot and pulling delivery slots into the weekend, we are proud to have achieved it ahead of deadline.”

Aggreko is also putting additional plans in place regarding the servicing of equipment throughout its operational period. It is possible that engineers will need to visit sites later in the year, so Shearer is working with the management team to ensure staff are protected both physically and mentally.

He adds: “I just wish I could do more really. I’m in true admiration of the healthcare workers operating in these times, if we can simply play a part in making their lives easier then I know our team that will go the extra mile ten times over for them.”

Furthermore, technology is playing a major role in helping Aggreko to support these projects. This includes remote monitoring, which is enabling remote teams to track equipment performance and reduce the need for engineers to visit site. This is an approach that is being rolled out across all critical projects.

MD Chris Rason concludes: “Our people are our priority. From providing face masks for peace of mind and ensuring we have mental health first-aiders readily available, to ensuring their job security - by putting them first, we are creating a culture that aims to go above and beyond their day job. I send my personal thanks to each and every one of them.”

Adam Offord

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