Coronavirus construction cleaning News & Opinion

Coronavirus Construction Cleaning | Harnesses, Ladders, and Storage


Protect Yourself from COVID-19 on the Job

Werner is a company well known for its commitment to personal safety on the job site. The company not only specializes in ladders and fall protection, but they also pour their resources into personal and online safety training classes. Given the circumstances of late, keeping safe on the jobsite is even more challenging with the added danger of the virus floating around. So, we checked in with Werner to see what measures we could take to keep our equipment even safer during the Coronavirus outbreak.

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Proper Safety Harness Cleaning

The following steps will help you to clean and disinfect your fall protection equipment. To help further prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s also important to avoid sharing this equipment with others. Each person should have their own harness.

Plus, remember to wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

  • Place the harness on a clean and flat surface. Keep it open for visible inspection.
  • Use a damp sponge to remove any grime or dust from the harness.
  • Mix up a mild cleaning solution using either laundry detergent or dish soap. You’ll want to avoid using any cleaning products that contain chlorine, bleach, or any other harsh chemicals. Especially avoid using gasoline or other drying solvents to clean your harness.
  • Dip your sponge into your cleaning solution, carefully scrubbing each section of your harness until a thick lather forms. You can dampen the harness, but avoid soaking it.
  • Rinse out your sponge, then use clean water to wipe down the harness, removing suds and soap residue.
  • Hang your safety harness in a cool, dry place until it is completely dry. Be careful to keep it out of direct sunlight. Do not use a mechanical heat dryer either. Both heat and tumbling can compromise the integrity of the harness.

It is important to inspect your fall protection equipment for signs of wear or damage before you use it each time. Cleaning your harness presents a good opportunity for a thorough inspection of the webbing and hardware.

Proper Ladder Cleaning

Again, it’s best not to share equipment. Like any other surface, ladders are susceptible to cross-contamination. It’s important to wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting your ladders.

  • Wipe off any foreign substance, particularly slippery, greasy, or sticky surfaces.
  • Mix up a mild cleaning solution using warm water and laundry detergent or dish soap.
  • Take a clean, dry scrubbing brush and dip it into your soap. Scrub the entire ladder, paying close attention to any sticky spots.
  • Using a clean sponge or rag dipped in fresh water, wipe down the ladder to remove the suds and soap residue. Be careful to remove all of the soap and residue, since it can make steps and rails slippery. It’s best to double-check your work here.
  • Wipe the entire ladder down with a clean, dry towel.
  • Wipe down the entire ladder with an alcohol-based disinfectant. This will evaporate on its own, leaving the ladder safe to use.

If anyone else uses your ladder, it can become contaminated again and you’ll need to go through the cleaning process.

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Proper Cleaning of Storage Products

You can help slow the spread of the virus by maintaining at least a 6-ft. distance from one another. Cleaning and sanitizing any tool or storage box that gets touched also goes a long way to keeping your team from illness.

Again, wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting any surfaces. When you’re done, throw the gloves away. You can still use non-disposable gloves, but these gloves need to be dedicated to cleaning and marked appropriately.

To clean your powder-coated boxes, use mild detergent or soap and water before disinfecting. After washing down the surfaces, wipe down with a dry cloth to prevent potential rusting.

For disinfecting, you can use any standard, over-the-counter cleaning product. But, be careful with bleach, only because too much bleach can discolor powder coating. Make sure that you’ve diluted the bleach to a 10% solution. Wipe and dry down your storage box.

The same process works for non-powder coated products, with the added caveat, that if you ever notice any oxidation, you can use an oxidation remover and microfiber towel to remove any stains.

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