Dear Members:

As we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we want to share information to help our Membership. According the OSHA and the CDC people that provide service are at a greater risk of contracting the disease. We want to share with you some steps to help your business cope with this if you continue to provide service as well as tips you can share with your employees.

As an owner/manager:

– Inform employees that you are following the news and are taking reasonable measures to help prevent COVID-19.
– Encourage employees to stay home when they are sick. Even if your employee doesn’t want to use their sick days or PTO, if an employee shows up to work sick, send them home.
– Allow employees who can work from home to do so.
– Clean! Disinfect all workspaces, especially those frequently touched (i.e. phones, printers, light switch, handles, shared keyboards, etc.). Use hand sanitizer and have it available on the counter/workstations as well as ensure you have soap and disposable towels in the restrooms.
– Provide hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes for each of your trucks; if employee has to purchase it they should be reimbursed.
– If your company uses shoe covers, immediately switch to disposable shoe covers.
– When scheduling an appointment ask a customer if they have had any contact with an ill person or if they have traveled to an affected area in the last two weeks before scheduling a service appointment.

Everyone is concerned about the virus and it is possible the customer will ask you the same questions you just asked them about the technician entering their home. Ensure them you are taking extra precautions.

Here are some steps to remind all employees to take to help prevent infection:

– WASH YOUR HANDS – when entering a customer’s home and when leaving. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you have a paper towel to open the door when leaving so you don’t touch the door handle. Make sure to get under your nails.
– Do not shake hands with the customer.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and/or mouth with unwashed hands.
– Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or into the bend in your elbow. (If you purchase your own, turn your receipt in for reimbursement.)
– Use antiseptic wipes to wipe down your briefcase and tool bag after each stop.
– Use an antiseptic wipe to wipe down your cell phone or tablet if placed on a surface in the customer’s home.
– Avoid contact with people who are sick. The CDC recommends keeping at least a 6 feet distance to avoid potentially contracting or spreading the virus.

While the situation continues to evolve quickly, you need to stay abreast of the situation and the directives from city, county and state government, the CDC and Health Department. You will need to decide what is best for your company. Under OSHA’s General Duty Clause, employers must keep employees safe from work related safety and health issues, including Coronavirus. Taking precautions and implementing procedures will help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Stay safe,
Sarah Brown
Executive Director
United Servicers Association