Skilled Trades

How skilled trades jobs have changed due to COVID-19

Skilled TradesJuly 01, 2020

HVAC technicians and electricians typically visit customers’ homes during the workday. While working directly with the public can be rewarding, COVID-19 has brought challenges. Social distancing has meant that some practices and procedures need to be modified to keep employees and homeowners safe.

Personal Protective Equipment

Technicians often wear booties to protect a homeowner’s flooring, but COVID-19 has introduced the addition of several other layers of personal protective equipment (PPE). Technicians should wear disposable masks, gloves, and protective glasses which can help control the spread of airborne virus particles. Disposable PPE items used throughout the day should be contained in a plastic bag and put in the company's trash daily to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Clean Surfaces with Disinfectant

The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting surfaces with a bleach- or alcohol-based solution. Technicians are expected to disinfect surfaces before they start their work when possible, especially if the item is exposed or involves air filtration. At the beginning and end of each shift, technicians should clean and disinfect tools, equipment, machines, and vehicles. If possible, avoid or limit tool sharing.

Maintain Social Distancing

Technicians need to keep six feet of space between themselves and the customer at all times. Social distancing should include coworkers, as well. It is advisable to limit the number of employees who travel to a job or share a vehicle. If a job site requires more than one person, it is suggested that a divider is used inside the van if separate transportation is not possible.

Frequent Hand Washing

Finally, technicians need to practice frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. They should wash their hands after coughing or sneezing, using the restroom, touching surfaces, removing PPE, or touching items handled by coworkers, such as tools and equipment. Technicians should also wash or sanitize their hands before entering a customer’s home and then again upon leaving.

Once employees and customers get used to the new protocol, it will seem like second nature. But, until then, remember that keeping each other safe is the best customer service you can provide.

If you enjoy being out in the field and working with your hands, a job in the skilled trades might be a good fit for you. Fortis can help you get started. Visit our website for more information and to find a training program near you. Or, call 1-855-436-7847 to speak with a representative today.