In an email note to the HVAC&R community, Wesport, Connecticut (U.S.)-based AHR Expo, organizer of the annual conference with ASHRAE and AHRI, offers technicians some tips on how to stay safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
For “technicians, distributors, owners, contractors, and anyone else continuing to show up for service calls, deliveries, and etc., we’ve put together a list of tips surveyed from our industry colleagues directing employees for safety protocol,” the note said. In addition to well-known advice on hand washing and social distancing, the tip sheet offers some technician-specific ideas:
- Wash your hands before and after eating and before entering and leaving each jobsite.
- If a family member is sick or experiencing symptoms, inform your employer and discuss what company practices are.
- If you have been in contact with someone who is sick or has tested positive for coronavirus,notify your employer so that proper protocols can be put in place to notify team members.
- When scheduling appointments or arriving at a dispatched job, inquire if customers or anyone in their household has recently been sick or symptomatic. Encourage sick or recovering customers to reschedule standing or non-urgent appointments.
- Take the time to let your customers know that you are well.
- Limit contact and avoid unnecessary contact points in customer homes and businesses. This includes no handshaking and touching only required surfaces to complete the job.
- At a job site,use caution and consider wearing booties to cover your shoes and protective gloves when entering residential spaces, particularly if you are entering a home with a suspected sick person. Wear gloves if possible when in contact with common areas.
- Take time to wipe down frequently used devices, tools and surfaces. This includes tools, iPads and handheld devices, mobile phones, your service vehicle and equipment in the home. In your vehicle it includes steering wheel, dashboard buttons, gear shift, outside and inside door handles; at home, thermostats, faucets, plumbing fixtures, etc.
- In the workplace, establish a routine of environmental cleaning, including all frequently touched surfaces. Shared spaces include kitchens, bathrooms, doorknobs, workspace and desks.
- Advise employees who will be traveling to consult Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel guidelines prior to departure and return to work.
- Talk with your team about contingency plans regarding potential shutdowns, school closings and other events that may affect your life and business.
- Follow CDC guidelines (cdc.gov)for the most up-to-date recommendations.