Cleanliness is a foundational element to any successful safety culture. In today’s environment, it’s also a topic of many discussions and the emphasis of new protocols across industries – and the world. Safety should be engrained in the culture and the extra precautions on top of those foundational operating principals help ensure our teams and customers can continue to operate safely.
A safe equipment shop follows a set of standard principles. The foundational safety best practices that have been instituted regularly, even before COVID-19, are what should be encouraged to emphasize the safety culture at many companies.
As companies look to rent equipment to address their worksite needs, they need to have confidence that the equipment rental provider adheres to best practices for disinfecting equipment touch points. The starting point includes operations that allow for and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Next, while personal protective equipment (PPE) has long been recognized as essential to a safe work environment, current conditions have led to rental companies provides additional gear to protect from health hazards, such as masks and gloves.
Here are three essential services that equipment rental providers can provide to companies:
Provide Contactless Service. Now more than ever, companies need to have more options to rent the equipment they need, safely and efficiently. In addition to having equipment delivered to a worksite or available to an equipment rental provider branch, providers should offer a “contactless” drive-up experience to pick up or drop off equipment that helps serve companies faster, and keeps them safe.
Companies should also have many options for how they order equipment to get what they need without going inside a branch. These include the ability to browse and reserve equipment online, on the phone or with mobile apps from smartphones. After using these capabilities, customers should be able to pull up to an equipment rental branch, confirm their order and load or unload while they wait in their vehicle.
Ensure Clean Equipment. As noted earlier, a safe worksite is built on a fundamental set of operating principals, which includes disinfecting equipment. Cleanliness is as important as ever, and when folded into an existing culture, teams can continue operating safely and efficiently. Ensure your equipment rental provider is taking the necessary steps to ensure its fleet is sanitary and ready for use.
At the branch, these steps include prior to equipment being rented, employees conduct a variety of safety and mechanical checks to assure the equipment functions correctly and safely. In addition to these routine checks, providers need to disinfect the equipment. They should use government-approved disinfectants and follow manufacturers’ instructions on their application to spray and/or wipe commonly touched surfaces necessary to operate tools and machinery. In particular, they need to focus on things like controls, buttons, latches, knobs, grab handles, operator seats, seat belts and buckles.
If the rental provider is dropping equipment off at a customer worksite, be sure their drivers perform a “last touch” precautionary disinfecting of the equipment. They should use a government-approved disinfectant and spray or wipe the surfaces touched by the driver when delivering the equipment.
Check to see if the rental provider has communicated to its employees on disinfecting equipment, practicing good personal hygiene and social distancing, plus the proper disposal of wipes, towels and any PPE they use in connecting with equipment delivery.
Address Range of Sanitary Needs. The current situation has led to many companies to expand their equipment needs beyond the standard array of excavators, wheel loaders, compact track loaders and more. They are turning to rental providers to address worker sanitation and health needs with equipment including portable sanitation products, such as hand sanitizing and washing stands, and portable restrooms and trailers. Other equipment needs include air quality and filtration products such as air scrubbers, air conditioning/heater units and HEPA vacuums; floor care products; temporary power and lighting; HVAC equipment, heaters and traffic control offerings.
In the current environment, it’s important for everyone to prioritize the safety of their employees and customers. Companies should make sure to follow the latest information on COVID-19, including information from official government websites, for emergency orders, guidance with respect to personal hygiene, and general updates on the COVID-19 situation.
Companies who are working and renting equipment during this pandemic need to anticipate changes of government orders as the pandemic evolves. They should choose an equipment partner that puts safety first and offers equipment and service to meet their needs and exceed expectations.