PSC Crane & Rigging, out of Piqua, Ohio. President and CEO Jim Sever said there’s a reason for that.

“As soon as we realized what was happening—about a week before the Ohio governor put the social distancing and certain work stoppages in place— Co

Jim Sever

we created a Covid-19 response team internally. Tey met daily, and still do,” he said. “Most importantly, we wanted to get consistent communication out to our employees and team members, as well as

take a proactive approach with our clients. We wanted to let them know we’re here for them, but we also wanted to be clear on what expectations they need us to meet in order for us to come onto their property and site—what requirements they have.” Sever indicated that PSC put together a communications tool that went out to each client. “It’s very important in a time like this to remember that each client is different and may have different needs. On top of that, everything is just fluid at the moment, so we created a pre-dispatch survey that goes out to each client’s project manager, which has to be returned within twenty-four hours in advance of us sending people to their site.” Sever is impressed with how quickly his workforce has adapted to and embraced this iteration of an already- robust contingency system in place at PSC. “I’ve been very pleased with how quickly our safety, H/R, field superintendents, everyone really, have just jumped into this—along with our field staff in general—and taken ownership. I’d say that this type of process, within this type of moment, would benefit any company.”


PSC is one of many companies in the crane and rigging space that belong to the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA). Beth O’Quinn, SC&RA Senior Vice President, Crane & Rigging, has discovered that the impact of Covid-19 often depends on where companies are located. “We have a member out in California

Beth O’Quinn

where lockdowns have been more strict, and they’re down to twenty percent of their volume of a normal month at this time,” she explained. “But then we have some

members in the middle of the country who’ve never been so busy. It’s also sector-specific. Infrastructure is essential, while high rises seem to have slowed down a bit.”

As the government and country overall eagerly awaits whatever version of reopening emerges, O’Quinn, like Sever and PSC, can’t emphasize communication enough. “Obviously, the hope is, as we move forward, onsite testing and all related safety measures become more and more efficient,” she emphasized. “But it’s all about regular and thorough communication. What we did from the start was establish a Covid-19 Crisis Command Center, which lists updates on our website. As soon as we receive any information on the virus and how it affects the industry— from crane and rigging to transportation—we quickly get it up on the website.

“If something urgent happens, then we’ll get an

email out to everyone, but our first line of education and awareness is our website. We’re in regular communication with FMCSA, the department of labor, OSHA, and other national organizations to best position members for re-opening.”

One additional point O’Quinn spotlighted involved

tech. “Most of us were at ConExpo in ‘Vegas when the shutdowns began in March,” she said, “and many of us didn’t realize the true impact until we got home. I think a moment like this reminds us, especially the companies and leaders in the industry who have been hesitant to use technology, that it’s time to embrace it. It’s how a lot of companies are staying afloat now, and it’s certainly how we’ve been able to inform our members and advocate on their behalf via government agencies and related organizations.” Bill Stramer was also in Las Vegas for

ConExpo when the world changed. Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Customer Support at Link-Belt, Stramer and his team left a successful event and returned to an environment inundated with disruption and uncertainty. “One of the more challenging realities is that we have

core employees who have work that cannot be done from home—or employees that have the ability to do some work remotely, some from home, or a combination of the two,” he noted. “So it is very challenging in this environment to attempt to identify a specific plan that covers all parts of your business.” Fortunately, Link-Belt is considered an essential

manufacturer, but like so many others, they’ve still had to shift production and office schedules, restrict visitors, cancel all non-essential travel, eliminate large meetings, and follow the many other safety and health precautions compulsory for most companies—especially large ones.


Bill Stramer

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