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SEL response to COVID-19

Updated March 23, 2020

Joining governments, businesses, and people around the world who are taking action to slow the spread of COVID-19, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories is working to ensure the well-being of our employees, families, and communities while continuing to serve the critical needs of our customers.

Hundreds of millions of people rely on our technology every day. SEL solutions manage the power systems of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Pullman Regional Hospital, and many other medical facilities around the world that are ground zero in the fight to control COVID-19. SEL products provide fundamental protection for virtually all electric utilities in North America and, increasingly, the world. SEL products also protect a vast array of pharmaceutical manufacturers, chemical producers, water treatment facilities, and data centers—all facilities and services that are often taken for granted until a crisis brings them into clearer focus. 

As a manufacturer of devices that protect critical infrastructure, SEL has the responsibility to meet the needs of our customers. For more than three decades, we’ve helped our utility and industrial customers keep the lights on and the power flowing—sometimes through hurricanes, fires, and floods. Not only do we work around the clock to serve our customers during these times, we discount our products. These experiences have made us acutely aware of how critical our work is to society, particularly in times of crisis. Without a stable energy supply, cities, towns and communities can’t function.

Note: On March 16, 2020, the President of the United States issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. This guidance states, in part, that workers in critical infrastructure industries have a special responsibility to maintain a normal work schedule.

We continue to manufacture our solutions as we closely monitor the global impacts of COVID-19. We will continue to comply with federal, state, and local government mandates, adjusting in real time as necessary, to keep our employees and others safe. 

Weeks ago, when news of the COVID-19 crisis broke, we began to implement key elements of our emergency response plan in anticipation of a crisis. These are included in the information below.

Keeping Employees and Our Communities Safe
We are closely following the up-to-the-minute recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Occupational Health & Safety and local, county, and state health agencies to ensure the safety of our employees and the communities where we live and work. We are:

  • communicating broadly and often with our employees about the importance of social distancing and hygiene precautions.
  • enabling employees to work from home when possible. We have a large and still growing percentage who are working remotely.
  • decentralizing our weekly Friday Lunch so employees can stream the program from their home, desk, or in conference rooms where social distancing rules can be followed. 
  • limiting in person meetings that require groups of employees to gather.
  • staggering lunches and breaktimes to limit the number of people in shared spaces.
  • increasing the frequency and focus of our already best-in-class cleaning processes to ensure our facilities are disinfected on a continuous basis to limit opportunities for pathogens to spread throughout our buildings. Supervisors and others are helping in the cleaning rotations.
  • leaving all interior doors open, providing gloves, and taking other measures to decrease touch points.
  • instructing employees who aren’t feeling well to remain home. Our onsite medical team is available to answer questions and is conducting appointments in person and via telemedicine.
  • accommodating employee requests for flexible schedules.


Serving Customers

We continue to offer 24/7 customer service and technical support by phone. We are limiting in-person customer visits where possible. Thanks to technology, we can provide excellent remote support, thereby limiting person-to-person interaction.

Ensuring Business Continuity
Our ability to deliver products and services has not been materially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We do not foresee significant impairment to SEL’s ability to deliver essential products and services to our customers. We continue to take the steps necessary to ensure the security and continuity of our supply chain. Weeks ago, as the COVID-19 situation emerged, we began to responsibly increase our reserve inventory of the critical components used in our products to reduce the risk of depletion as orders from critical industry continue to come in. We remain in constant communication with all our suppliers regarding production and lead time impact, down to the individual component level. We are fortunate that our suppliers, even in areas subject to shelter-in-place orders, are able to continue operation, because, like SEL, they manufacture components vital to the critical infrastructure we all rely upon. 

Supporting Communities
We recognize the economic and societal impact this crisis is having on institutions, organizations, schools, and businesses within our communities. We are committed to providing support for essential services and filling in gaps where we can. Our team is actively identifying opportunities where SEL can offer assistance to the communities in which we live and work through social service agencies.

Living Our Values 
Since our founding in Pullman, Washington, in 1982, SEL values have been deeply engrained within each employee. These values call upon us to be assets to our communities, to act with integrity and discipline, and to bring our technology to help others when it is needed most. This is our commitment to you as we focus on doing what we can to ensure the wellness of our employees, customers, and communities.

And, thank you to our employees, who have shown tremendous dedication and resolve!