How to Use Heavy Equipment While Avoiding Coronavirus?

Posted on 01 April 20


Coronavirus today has already been declared a deadly virus becoming the cause of several deaths across the globe. Total lockdown is not the only solution. Also, no one can deny the fact that life should go on. Industries need to function, the different types of machinery need to be used including heavy equipment.

There are a set of guidelines, precautionary measures, and control instruction announced by the World Health Organization that applies not only to the general public but also to all the industries, commercial establishments, and construction industry at large.

Since the construction industry has the large scale involvement of construction workers, a diverse range of heavy equipment owned by companies and availed on a rental basis, it is necessary to take into consideration all the safety measures to prevent team members from being COVID-19 infected and it’s widespread in the community.

Before we understand the use of heavy equipment while avoiding coronavirus, let us learn more about it here.

About Coronavirus and its Impact

Coronavirus started from a city and gradually spread in the different nations. The number of infected patients and death is constantly increasing make it epidemic needing immediate control. Today around the world, almost all the countries are struggling to stop the spread of Coronavirus and have adopted various preventive measures to curb the spread of this deadly virus. Many countries have gone in complete lockdown and are urging its citizens to maintain social distancing which can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in mass.

The local government and administration in almost all countries have issued certain guidelines and precautionary measures to keep every citizen safe from Coronavirus infection. Along with following all the safety measures issued by the respective country government, the citizens must also maintain proper hygiene. Keeping self and other things clean is obligatory to prevent spreading this deadly virus further.

Key Measures to Prevent Coronavirus Community Spread

  • Administrative control
  • Environmental control
  • Engineering control
  • Lockdown
  • Hygienic
  • No hand-shake
  • Social distancing

Major Coronavirus Carriers

  • Droplets of infected person spread/generated through cough, sneezing,
  • Saliva Droplets or discharge from nose
  • Droplets lying on any kind of surface including household things, machinery, vehicles, and others
  • Coming in contact with COVID-19 infected person unknowingly

NOTE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) can live up to 4 days on a solid surface. Hence, caution while using heavy equipment is strongly recommended.

Why it is necessary to disinfect heavy equipment?

It is very difficult to predict the Coronavirus carrier. The carrier can be anything including the varied heavy equipment. There can be different people using the same construction machinery. There are great chances of heavy equipment used by infected personnel diagnosed Coronavirus at a later stage. The heavy equipment or your co-worker can become the cause of COVID-19 spread in the other workers. Hence, it essential to strictly follow the WHO guidelines released in relation to COVID-19 spreading at a great pace. Disinfecting heavy equipment before its use can certainly minimize the risk of Coronavirus spread.

Can a truck or heavy equipment get infected from the coronavirus?

  • NO, your trucks or any other heavy vehicle will not get affected with coronavirus even if the virus is sitting in the interior or exterior surface or part of heavy equipment including various categories of vehicles.
  • But in case you are not cleaning the surfaces or parts properly, then your vehicle will surely promote the spread of coronavirus and other infections.
  • The COVID-19 virus lying on any heavy equipment can get easily transmitted to a person touching a place, part in a construction vehicle or other machinery.
  • Since it is very contagious, it can easily spread in every single person coming in contact with a coronavirus infected patient.

Tips to Use Heavy Equipment While Avoiding Coronavirus

Heavy equipment includes the widest category of trucks, crane, lifts, dozers, construction equipment, lifting equipment, and more.

  • 1. Disinfect the heavy machinery: Cleaning of heavy equipment is the foremost step in the process of disinfection.

Follow the following to clean heavy equipment properly

  • Rub the surface area at least for 15-20 seconds before using soap to do the job.
  • While cleaning your vehicle or earthmoving equipment, make sure that you are wearing disposable gloves.
  • Use soap to clean the surface as it can fight off Coronavirus; you must not use bleach on the truck as it may damage.
  • Also, don’t use any kinds of solvents; using hand sanitizer on leather surfaces is a big NO as it might dry out the leather.
  • Clean anything you wipe so that it doesn’t leave any kind of stains, neither on your truck nor on your equipment as well.
  • Don’t forget to sanitize or use cleaning wipes in commonly used areas like door handles, steering wheel, seatbelts, gear selector, on/off button, etc.
  • 2. Choosing the right cleaning materials

Isopropyl alcohol is also an effective disinfectant. It is safe and easy to use. It can easily remove residues, stains, dirt, and smudges. It also kills viruses and bacteria. Do not use it on surfaces or parts covered with leather. To clean the steering wheel bearing leather, seats, etc. you can use the mixture of water and soap. While cleaning the interior, make sure that you are using products that will not crack or dry out the leather used in making seats. Using the right cleaning agents is necessary.

  • 3. Disposal of cleansing materials safely

The different types of materials, dirt removed or collected after cleaning heavy equipment should be properly disposed of by destroying them completely or treat the cleansing materials to prevent the transmission of coronavirus in others.

  • 4. Sanitize the exterior of the construction machinery

Get the heavy equipment to be used carefully sanitized, also the exterior surfaces. Coronavirus can stay on solid surfaces for up to 4 days and even more time, increasing the chances of more infection especially if the equipment is located at a populated area in a major city like New York City. It is important that people across the world use hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes for wiping the interiors and exteriors of heavy equipment as well.

  • 5. Maintain personal hygiene

Follow the below steps

  • Wash your hands repeatedly with soap
  • Use hand sanitizer frequently
  • Use face mask preferably N95 while operating the machine
  • Maintain social distance while at work and avoid touching your face
  • Use gloves while working with any kind of heavy equipment, commercial vehicles, cranes, forklifts and similar machines.
  • Wash your hands properly after using heavy equipment at work

Additional Tips for Heavy Equipment Companies

  • People and the companies must regularly clean all the things which include their heavy equipment as well that are used for transporting the essentials from one place to another.
  • At the time of doing a normal cleaning also, the entire interiors are advised to clean properly.
  • During the outbreak of COVID-19, it is advised to stay focussed on those that come in direct contact and are referred to as the "touch points." The most common touch points in the vehicle are much more than just the door handles and steering wheel.
  • You also need to sanitize the radio, cup holders, glove box, seatbelts, and much more as you don’t know on which item this deadly virus may be sitting. In case you are confused regarding which parts you must start first, then starting with the sun visors, you can move to the A-pillar, and then clean the dashboard followed by other areas.

Sellers, buyers, and users of the different types of heavy equipment need to strictly keep in mind that there is no vaccine or cure to COVID-19. Hence, it is only the preventive measures, good cleanliness habits, and social distancing at work that can keep you safe from being infected with it.

So adhere to the above-mentioned cleaning practices. It can help you clean your heavy machinery, work safely, perform different construction, civil, and other work with due precautions along with reducing the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease.


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