Just because Australia is in lockdown thanks to COVID-19, doesn’t mean machinery isn’t in use. In fact, with record traffic and searches on Machines4U since the pandemic started, it’s clear that machinery buyers are more interested than ever. But this presents a new challenge: how to keep your machinery clean and hygienic for your operators or anyone looking to buy your machine?
In this article, we’re going to cover some of the basic hygiene tips to ensure you’re doing your part to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 and to keep you, your operators and your buyers safe.
Clean the Machine with Alcohol Wipes and/or Disinfectant
One of the main transmission methods of COVID-19 is through physical touch, so ensuring all the components you will be touching during operation are clean and disinfected is the number 1 way to prevent the spread.
There are a few key touchpoints that you should focus on when cleaning, specifically the:
- Steering wheel
- Door handles
- GPS/Touch screens
- Entry/Exit points
- Seats & armrests
- Seat belts
This actually goes hand-in-hand with the first point, try to wear gloves wherever possible and practical. Wearing gloves is a great way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (assuming you don’t wear the same pair 24/7!) and will help prevent you from contracting the disease from an operator or potential customer. Just remember to avoid touching your face and rubbing your eyes.
If you’re using the machine in day-to-day operations, try to have all your operators use a pair of disposable gloves during their shifts or while they’re driving a machine. Dispose of the gloves safely after each use to reduce the risk of contamination.
For customers or anyone looking to test drive, try to offer them disposable gloves before they get in and somewhere convenient for them to dispose of them afterwards. Also provide a safe space for them to safely wash their hands. This will not only lower the chances of them contaminating your machine, but will make them feel more secure in giving your machine a test drive.
An important note, gloves are an added protection, not a replacement for proper handwashing. It’s recommended that you wash your hands thoroughly and regularly using the 20 second hand wash method.
This one probably seems obvious, but having hand sanitiser readily available across your worksite or showroom is a must in the current pandemic. Much like gloves, it adds another layer of protection for your customers and operators and instills a sense of security in anyone that comes to your worksite or showroom.
As with gloves, hand sanitiser is not a replacement for proper handwashing and is simply an added measure.
While it can seem a little annoying, Government-mandated social distancing is a must at the moment, and this applies to machinery and equipment dealers as well. The rule is to keep at least 1.5 metres apart. Remember to always try to reduce the number of people that are in your yard or worksite at any one time and never have more than one person in the cab at all times.
Depending on the size of your workforce and operation, you may need to consider some basic hygiene practices for refuelling as well. If multiple people will be using the same pump and tank (especially if it’s a public one) ensure your operators are following some of the basic tips above. Like wearing gloves, using hand sanitiser and, if possible, wiping down the pump before touching it at all.
Obviously you’ll want to keep your machine clean at all times, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few extra precautions you’ll want to take to get that extra little bit of peace of mind. Specifically, wiping down the most common touchpoints of the exterior, like the doors, handles and any ladders, or staircases/railings.
Other tips for machinery sellers
- Conduct test drives outdoors wherever possible
- Only go to work if you’re feeling well and not displaying any of the COVID-19 symptoms (and you haven’t been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19)
- If a buyer seems unwell, politely ask to reschedule when they are feeling better
In the end, it’s up to all of us to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and to reduce the risk for those around us. Following some basic hygiene practices can do a lot to keep yourself, your operators and your customers safe.
Do you have any hygiene tips for machinery dealers and operators? Leave us a comment below!