How to keep your worksite safe from virus contamination
All Lift Forklifts and Access Equipment has the health and wellbeing of our people, customers, and communities at heart and, as we are constantly monitoring the situation and adapting, we want to reassure you we remain open for business for machine hires, sales, spare parts and maintenance on your equipment.
We have put in place different measures to reduce any potential disruptions. Management have daily meetings via teleconference on the current situation and we are constantly assessing and adjusting where necessary to maintain the health and safety of our people and clients.
It’s easy to feel panicked and overwhelmed as current circumstances change how we’re living, socialising and working. When it comes to the workplace, there’s no need to create panic, but rather, increase the hypervigilance on hygiene to ensure Australian worksites and construction sites are safe, sustainable and actively working toward a community responsibility to stop the spread of the virus. Even for the healthiest and fittest of us, we need to ensure we’re protecting the vulnerable (particularly our elderly population and the immunosupressed). When it comes to construction, warehouse and factory sites and, in particular, the use of a forklift, telehandler or other machinery by multiple people, there are general and specific precautions that should be implemented to ensure your site is safe from viral contamination.
Follow Government guidelines on hygiene and common sense practices
According to the NSW Government Health recommendations of hygiene, behaviours and decisions in the workplace, keeping cleanliness and wellness top priority is the key to ensuring your worksite has a good safety net against COVID-19. They suggest you:
- Do not go to work if you don’t feel well and are exhibiting symptoms of a cold such as runny nose, sore throat, fever, chills, coughing and sneezing.
- Do not return to work if you haven’t been cleared by a health professional after exhibiting these symptoms
- Clean your hands regularly
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
- Distance yourself from other people as much as possible. If you are required to be in the same area, try to remain at least 1.5m from each other
Ensure the whole workplace understands the standards
At this stage, the health of others is incredibly important and ignorance to the rule shouldn’t be an option. Ensure that your team is completely aware of what is expected and how the worksite is actively protecting the health of each person. The best way to do this is to hold a workshop with all people on the worksite to demonstrate expected procedures as recommended by Australian Government Department of Health, daily, making it a condition of entry. Also, print out the Government-approved signs on knowing the signs of COVID-19 and how to avoid spread of the virus in various high-traffic areas of the worksite.
Sign-in/Sign-out policy on machines, that includes confirmation of cleaning
Each machine isn’t going to have just one operator on any given day. To ensure everyone is protected from transmitting viruses, create or add to your sign-in/sign-out machine operator process. Just for health and safety, operators should be indicating when they are officially starting and finishing their use on a machine. However, it is worth including a confirmation from every operator that they have cleaned their hands and touched surfaces before and after use. Alternatively, or in conjunction, operators can use gloves for added protection.
Adjust how many people handle machines
Fewer people in any given space is recommended. See if you can be more flexible in the hours people are working onsite, what can be done remotely and if operators can remain on one machine as much as possible. It could also be safer to hire an operator who is familiar with a machine and can be designated to that machine for the remainder of a job. This ensures fewer people handling the same surface areas and so lowering the risk of viruses spreading. Contact us today on our operator hire options.
Set your worksite up for sanitation success
Where possible have hand sanitiser, heavy-duty soap and anti-bacterial wipes in easy access on machines and around the worksite. Keeping them in sight is also a great visual cue for people to remember to continually wash their hands and the machines as much as possible. Antibacterial wipes and small hand sanitisers can be distributed to operators so they can be kept on person if the machine doesn’t safely have a space to keep these items.
At the end of the day, worksite health and safety in regard to sanitation is much like any other site, and it’s important to be vigilant and use common sense without being panicked. Remain calm, keep your hands and areas of contact as clean as possible, and always remember that your hygiene behaviours onsite are as much for the health of your community and coworkers as it is for you.