Workplace health and safety has taken on a whole new meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. With shaking hands, engaging in close conversations, and even sharing an office space off the table, organizations need to look beyond the basics to provide a safe work environment.
While employees are the #1 priority, businesses that consistently utilize technicians or gig workers must be conscientious of additional precautions. How can you distance these groups from full-time employees and still accomplish the tasks at hand? With community health on the line, it is crucial to make the appropriate accommodations for the modern workplace.
1. Require temperature checks
Temperature screening is a simple, reliable, and cost-effective way to create a safer environment. While some organizations have opted for manual temperature guns, an automated temperature monitoring kiosk renders close contact unnecessary.
With either type of technology, it's crucial to track the data detected. This practice will help your organization establish a baseline for the individuals that frequent the worksite. When using a temperature gun, you may want to start a shared spreadsheet with dates and names, especially if there are multiple temperature administrators. Some models of temperature kiosks save this data automatically, making this process quite efficient.
2. Switch up the scheduling
While you might have scheduled technicians during business hours to collaborate effectively, it now may be wise to stagger the timing. For example, if you run a retail shop, try setting work order windows for before or after store hours. Even if some staff remain for opening/closing tasks, this will help promote the suggested 6 feet of distance.
3. Be specific with project requirements
At what type of location will the technician be working? Is there space for distancing? Furthermore, precisely what does the project entail? By answering these questions ahead of time in a specific format, the technician can perform the job much more safely and efficiently (getting them out of the shared space more quickly.)
For example: Instead of "decommission the servers," try: "You will be working in the server room, which is located in the northeast corner of the building. You will briefly check-in at the front desk to have your temperature checked. From there, take a left, and it's the third door on the right. You will be decommissioning the servers on the right-hand side of the room with the sign indicating as such. You are the only technician on site today and shouldn't need to interact with others much."
4. Provide sanitization supplies
Usually, contract workers bring cleaning supplies to job sites. With the regional and national shortages of some items, it may be wise to stock up on disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, screen cleaners, and other disinfectant products so that technicians may effectively complete their work.
Need to manage shipments of PPE and sanitation supplies? We can help!
5. Communicate health and safety expectations
A face mask is now required to be worn in public spaces in most states. If you would prefer additional PPE, it's essential to communicate these expectations. In the Scope of Work (SOW), detail the precautions that you would like gig workers to take, such as wearing a face mask, face-covering, or disposable gloves.
6. Consider official guidelines
While your organization may have its expectations for COVID-19 safety, the regulatory agencies also have a say. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offer updated guidelines and regulations to follow.
We appreciate you considering worker safety as you plan your next onsite repair or project. BLM Technologies is committed to giving you the insight and clarity you need to keep your business moving forward.