COVID-19 in Construction: Considerations for Transferring Tools Safely between Jobsites

April 15, 2020 One-Key Team

A jobsite at sunset

COVID-19 poses a great health risk, especially to construction workers on the front lines. It’s crucial that your team in the field follows the CDC’s sanitation guidelines to both keep themselves safe and help slow the spread of coronavirus.

In addition to sanitizing tools and equipment before they are used on the jobsite, it’s important to take additional precautions and sanitize them before they are transferred and received on different jobsites.

 If you’re transferring power tools from one person to another, the following protocol is an example of possible measures to safely transfer your tools, which includes a transfer and a cleaning process. It’s important that you always practice proper hygiene during and after handling of tools. If you’re transferring a battery pack and battery cells that will be used by a team member, they should sit for 72 hours before being handled.

  1. Create a neutral pickup and drop-off area designated for tool transfers. This designated space should be a low-traffic but also secure area that won’t be susceptible to theft. Make sure to sign the tool in or out with the time/date it arrived or was transferred. You can use the One-Key app to keep track of your tool transfers.
  2. As should be common practice by now, make sure to avoid touching your face and immediately wash your hands before doing anything else.
  3. Once the tool has been successfully transferred from the crib or jobsite to its new destination, make sure to notify the site manager.
  4. Based on how the tool was stored, you should let the equipment sit for a set period of time, as indicated below:
    1. If the tool was stored in a carboard box that had not been open, 24 hours; or
    2. If the tool was not stored in sealed a container and the tool is made of metal or plastic, or a combination of the two, 72 hours.

This can be a big departure from the common “Just-In-Time” inventory practice that logistics teams are used to. Be sure to be working ahead with Project Managers and Foremen to leave adequate time for dropoffs and pickups.

  1. If the Tool is needed prior to the rest times referenced above, retrieve the tool and clean it before use, following the process set out in our cleaning procedures guide.
  2. Avoid touching your face and immediately wash your hands before doing anything else. Wash your hands often, but especially after handling tools or equipment that someone else may have handled.
  3. Once the tool is retrieved, follow the same cleaning and hygiene procedures mentioned above before again working with the tool.

Taking these extra precautions will keep you and your team safe and help slow the spread of coronavirus.

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