We are all looking forward to getting the Coronavirus under control and things getting back to normal. While it appears that the country will get back to work someday, this event will have a lasting impact in every part of our personal and professional lives. Right now, we should be preparing for what will become the “new” normal.
Smart manufactured home installers and retailers will take advantage the next several weeks to examine their daily routine and practices. Now is the time to begin taking steps to better protect themselves, co-workers, customers and families.
I have tried to come up with a list of ideas that our industry could use in helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19 or any future public health epidemic. So, here are my suggestions for some simple steps we all should be taking:
- Disinfectant wipes should be added to every tool box, truck, car, office, shop and work area. Start frequently wiping down any tools that are shared such as nail guns, saw handles, jacks, come-a-longs, etc. Don’t forget keys, steering wheels, door handles, keyboards, thermostats, control knobs and every other common use item. Cleaning should occur daily, and certainly each time a new user or operator touches a particular tool or piece of equipment. Avoid sharing tools with others!
- Hand sanitizer for everyone! Just be sure that any sanitizer you use is at least 60% alcohol.
- When you are on the job site, it is important to know that hand sanitizers are not as effective on dirty covered hands. Hands must be clean for the sanitizer to be effective. If soap and water is not available, consider using water-less hand cleaner (such as GoJo®) to remove the dirt. Be sure everyone understands the need to sanitize once their hands are clean.
- Trash, especially food wrappers and containers, should be removed frequently, and at a minimum once a day. At job sites as well as the office!
- Disposable latex gloves might seem crazy for the job site, but I believe smart installers will all be wearing them in the near future. You can get a box of 100, industrial quality latex gloves for just about $15. For those that may have an allergy with latex, nitrile and vinyl are a great option.
- Eye protection is a must! We don’t want people touching their eyes, and safety glasses will help protect your eyes from irritants.
- In the sales centers, if you have a mug or cup filled with pens available for your customers, now is the time to get rid of them (and the mug as well)!
- Water coolers, coffee pots, candy dishes, boxes of donuts, bags of homemade deer jerky, and the like, need to be eliminated from offices, lunch rooms, etc., (yes, deer jerky!).
- Limit the amount of sales literature available in your sales centers. Consider passing out these materials when requested. Allowing folks to browse racks of brochures, and possibly contaminating them, should be discouraged. One retailer branded brochure is sufficient for most of your potential customers.
- Have a box of face masks available for customers, vendors, workers or anyone that might need one.
- Consider a staggered work schedule. Maybe you can schedule some work for the off hours to reduce the number of people at the job site.
- Incorporate a housekeeping routine into the work day. Make certain you build sufficient time to clean your work area, tools, keyboards, handles, etc., several times a day!
If you have any thoughts on how to better protect your workforce and customers, please share them with us! You can add a comment or email me directly (email@example.com).
The best information for the construction industry that I could find is from the web site for the National Association of Home Builders (nahb.org).