6 on-site safety tips during the COVID-19 crisis

4 min read

These are certainly unprecedented times—in our country and throughout the world. Your personal well-being, and the well-being of your family, is our top priority. 

Please continue to follow along with our latest COVID-19 technician updates, read our COVID-19 updates for employers, and review our on-site safety recommendations below:

1. Stay out of harm’s way.

Before accepting any work orders, check local COVID-19 trends and cases with your local government or the CDC or the Public Health Agency of Canada before heading out the door. Put your safety first!

2. Contact the buyer with any questions before you go on-site.

To empower your decisions regarding your personal safety on-site, Field Nation has asked companies to be as clear as possible about on-site specifics when posting work orders, including details around: 

  • location type (and if it’s a retail location, determine if the work order is scheduled during off-peak hours)
  • how many people you may come into contact with 
  • available parking locations nearby 
  • bathroom or handwashing station locations

As soon as you’re assigned, immediately review your work order details, including location, site information, and any other previously confidential information. If you’re concerned about site safety, contact the buyer to resolve the issue. If the issue cannot be resolved, remove yourself from the work order as soon as possible. As of Saturday, March 28th, technicians will not be penalized for late work order removals. You can now remove yourself from a work order at any time should you have any concerns related to COVID-19. This policy will remain in place until further notice.

3. Protect yourself with personal protective equipment (PPE).

PPE is not required in all states or regions, or by all employers. However, being proactive about having the right PPE for each job helps safeguard your health as well as the health of others.

Ensure you have access to equipment you may need such as face shields, masks, gloves, goggles, and gowns. In a summary of OSHA guidelines, the TSIA states that all types of PPE must be:

  • Selected based upon the hazard to the worker
  • Properly fitted
  • Consistently and properly worn when required
  • Regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced as necessary
  • Properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of, as applicable

FDA-authorized KN95 masks
The FDA recently allowed the importation of KN95 masks if they demonstrated a 95% filtration efficiency. One of these FDA-authorized options is imported by Powecom, and sold through a U.S. distributor (10 masks for ~$19 USD). Field Nation has no partner affiliation with Powecom or Bona Fide Masks.

4. Clean any surfaces or equipment you work with on-site.

Keep in mind, the CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces as well as cleaning your hands after removing gloves.

Ask buyers about available cleaning supplies, and if they aren’t able to provide them, ask if there is an on-site supervisor who can let you know the location of the nearest restroom where you can wash your hands.

With shortages of disinfectant cleaners and hand sanitizer around the country, we understand it may be hard to find proper cleaning agents. The CDC has posted cleaning and disinfecting tips, including updated guidelines for sanitizing electronic devices, along with a list of disinfectants for use against Coronavirus. Using this list, try searching for the brand and product name along with its main active ingredient to look for available products online. 

Local distilleries have also been stepping up to provide hand sanitizer to healthcare facilities and the general public. Find a local distillery making hand sanitizer near you.

Important notice: The FDA has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested.

5. Use hands-free communication when possible.

Remember to follow social distancing protocols—such as avoiding handshakes and other types of physical contact—while on job sites. In addition, use electronic communications whenever possible. For example, many clients are accepting photos for work order completion rather than signatures to reduce in-person contact.

6. Report any concerns.

If you suspect an active COVID-19 case on-site or another situation that puts your health or safety at risk, please bring it the attention of the buyer on the work order so they can address the situation on a case by case basis.

Additional resources: