Reopening safety tips for home service providers

Posted in Business

Handyman fills out service form for customer

This article is part of a series Grange Insurance is creating to help business owners improve safety while reopening their businesses during COVID-19.

As we all adjust to our new way of living among COVID-19, many businesses — especially at-home service providers — need to add extra precautions to ensure their employees and customers stay safe and healthy.

From electricians to plumbers to telecommunications technicians, at-home service providers are going from home to home providing crucial services. If you own or work for a business that provides home services, it’s essential to set expectations, provide staff with proper equipment and take additional precautions to ensure the safety of you and your customers.

Set expectations with customers
Before you or one of your employees enter a customer’s home, be sure to set expectations. Your goal is to minimize interactions as much as possible, so any information regarding their service should be sent though an email or relayed over the phone prior to the service. Be sure to request for the customer to stay at least six feet away and isolate pets before your employee arrives. As a courtesy, let them know of any safety precautions your company has implemented, like wearing a mask or requiring electronic payment.

Most importantly, ask customers who have recently been exposed to COVID-19 or who are feeling ill to reschedule their appointment.

Provide resources to employees
To protect your employees and customers, provide your staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, including face coverings, gloves, shoe covers, hand sanitizer and EPA-approved disinfectants. Set a protocol and provide training for how to put on, remove and dispose of PPE. Establish a disinfecting routine. Also, remind employees to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and to cough or sneeze into their elbow to prevent the spread of disease.

Re-examine every step of a standard service and identify COVID-19 hazards
While you never know what surprises are ahead of you when completing a home service, it’s important to walk through common interactions and determine how to make processes safer. For instance, consider only allowing forms of electronic payment and requiring the customer to use their own pen when signing forms. Other ideas include eliminating the sharing of tools among your staff and teaching associates how to minimize contact with high-touch surfaces.

You may not be able to remove the risk of COVID-19 completely, but by taking these precautions, you can minimize exposure and help keep your employees, customers and business safe.

References:
- American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Please note that this article does not apply to at-home healthcare services. This article is provided for informational and suggestion purposes only. Contact your local independent insurance agent for complete details on your business insurance coverage.


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