Outdoor maintenance services, including landscaping companies and pressure washing businesses like ours, have fortunately spared by the enormous crisis which has hit our economy following the Covid-19 emergency. Other indoors businesses, restaurants and bars above all, have seen massive losses due to the implemented restrictions and social distancing rules. That being said, Landscape Services must adhere to specific Safety and Health Requirements. Let’s see which ones apply. (Source)
• Educate workers in the language they understand best about coronavirus and how to prevent transmission and the employer’s COVID-19 policies.
• Maintain minimum six-foot separation between staff and customers in all interactions at all times. When strict physical distancing is not feasible for a specific task, other prevention measures are required, such as use of barriers, minimize staff or customers in narrow or enclosed areas, stagger breaks, and work shift starts.
• Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate or required to employees for the activity being performed. Cloth facial coverings must be worn by every employee on the jobsite unless their exposure dictates a 2 higher level of protection under Department of Labor & Industries safety and health rules and guidance. Cloth facial coverings must be worn by every employee not working alone on the jobsite unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection under L&I safety and health rules and guidance. Refer to Coronavirus Facial Covering and Mask Requirements for additional details. A cloth facial covering is described in the Department of Health guidance.
• Ensure frequent and adequate hand washing with adequate maintenance of supplies. Use disposable gloves where safe and applicable to prevent transmission on tools or other items that are shared.
• Establish a housekeeping schedule that includes frequent cleaning and sanitizing with a particular emphasis on commonly touched surfaces. • Screen employees for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 at start of shift. Make sure sick employees stay home or immediately go home if they feel or appear sick. Cordon off any areas where an employee with probable or confirmed COVID-19 illness worked, touched surfaces, etc. until the area and equipment is cleaned and sanitized. Follow the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC to deep clean and sanitize.
These directions are easy to follow and barely imply taking on a new routine. Landscaping companies and similar outdoor maintenance services are in a position where social distancing is quite easy to implement. We find that most of face-to-face interactions with our customers happen while providing estimates or receiving payments. Of course, there are solutions for both these scenarios.
We have decided to offer online estimates which we offer based on photos or satellite images of the properties. We also offer credit card payments to avoid all direct contact with the customer. When the customers demands our presence on the property, we will do so by wearing certified masks and observing a 6-ft distance at all time. Customers never get in touch with our equipment, but as we might touch part of their property (gates, fences), we make sure that our team sanitizes their hands before and after servicing a client.
What has been your main struggle following covid restrictions, both as a customer, fellow landscaping companies or as a different type of business? Let us know in the discussion below.