As guidance on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we’ve compiled the latest advice to help our technician community stay safe and informed. If you’re a technician on the Field Nation platform, please continue to follow along with our latest COVID-19 technician updates.
1. Stay out of harm’s way.
2. Contact your client 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 your customer to resolve the issue. If the issue cannot be resolved, remove yourself from the work order as soon as possible. Please note that COVID-19 related removals (before or after the Confirmation Window) will not be penalized. COVID-19-specific provider removals that occur after the Confirmation Window begins will be reviewed by Field Nation. This policy will remain in place until further notice.
3. Minimize contact and practice social distancing.
It’s important to stay at least six feet away from co-workers and customers when possible, even if no one has COVID-19 symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions.
Here are some specific suggestions about social distancing for technicians:
- When possible, utilize virtual service offerings via mobile devices or applications rather than going onsite
- Avoid handshakes and other types of physical contact
- Send any necessary paperwork for your work order via email
- Use photos rather than signatures to document the completion of work orders
4. Protect yourself with personal protective equipment (PPE).
Being proactive about having the right PPE for each job helps safeguard your health as well as the health of others.
Field Nation recommends that companies continue to include PPE and mask requirements in each work order. Please note that work orders may be canceled if technicians don’t follow state or federal health and safety mandates.
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
As of February 2, 2021, masks are required on public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, as well as in airports. There are a variety of types of masks available, offering varying levels of protection.
Here are the basics of how to wear a mask:
- Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
- Make sure it covers your nose, mouth, and chin.
- When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag. Wash fabric masks after use, and dispose of medical masks in a trash bin.
- Don’t use masks with valves.
- The CDC recommends double masking to reduce COVID-19 exposure.
- Here are some additional techniques to make masks more protective.
Finally, beware of fraudulent masks and respirators, which have become more prevalent during the pandemic.
5. Get vaccinated when it’s your turn.
Now that the U.S. has authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19, you can choose to be vaccinated when it’s your turn. To find out when vaccines will be available for your priority group, review vaccine information for your state.
Also, the CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine.
6. Increase ventilation at job sites.
Proper ventilation can also help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
When possible, increase ventilation in your work area by opening windows or doors, and use fans to increase airflow. When it is not possible to keep windows or doors open, adjust the fan on your thermostat to “on” instead of “auto,” which will operate the fan continuously, even when heating or air-conditioning is not required.
7. Clean any surfaces or equipment you work with on-site.
The CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces as well as cleaning your hands after removing gloves.
Ask your customers 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.
The CDC has posted cleaning and disinfecting tips, including updated guidelines for sanitizing electronic devices. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also created a tool (also known as “List N”) that includes all products that kill the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) when used according to the label directions. Using this tool, try searching for active ingredients or by brand or product name to double-check the efficacy of products you already purchased, or to inform your purchasing decisions.
8. 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 to the attention of your customer so they can address the situation on a case by case basis.
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)—NIOSH-Approved Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirator Information (N95, Surgical N95, N99, N100, R95, P95, P99, P100)
- Note: Click on the type of respirator to see all approved models. Disclaimer: The available links go to websites outside of CDC/NIOSH and should not be considered as an endorsement of their content, or as a statement of NIOSH policy.
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)—Vaccination FAQ
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)—COVID-19 Resources
- World Health Organization (WHO)—COVID-19 Resources
- Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA)—COVID-19 Guidance
- Government of Canada—COVID-19 Resources
- U.S. Small Business Administration—Guidance for Business and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus
- Dial 211—A free and confidential service to help people find local resources