Coronavirus has impacted our lives in many ways. Many people have been staying home and finding new ways to entertain themselves while being on lockdown. Many playgrounds and recreation areas have been closed due to the virus which has caused a spike in home improvements across the nation. Synthetic turf contractors are experiencing increases in sales up to 30% from last year. Operating a synthetic turf company during a pandemic can be challenging. If there is one positive outcome from this pandemic, it is that many of us are spending more time with family and loved ones outdoors. 

Coronavirus has impacted our lives in many ways. Many people have been staying home and finding new ways to entertain themselves while being on lockdown”. Many playgrounds and recreation areas have been closed due to the virus which has caused a spike in home improvements across the nation. Synthetic turf contractors are experiencing increases in sales up to 30% from last year. Operating a synthetic turf company during a pandemic can be challenging. If there is one positive outcome from this pandemic, it is that many of us are spending more time with family and loved ones outdoors. 

https://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/pamphlets/default.htm

Testing

Testing for Covid-19 is the only way to prove you either have it or not. Below are symptoms of Covid-19 that the CDC has provided. If you or your employees feel you may have these symptoms, it is best to get tested and follow directions by a physician. When testing is complete, a release form should be given to the employer confirming you are not sick. If one of your installers gets sick, the entire company is at risk. 

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Safety Measures for Employees

It is the Owners, Employers, and Office Managers to carry out risk assessment for work-related exposure to COVID-19. It is the employer’s responsibility to enforce these guidelines and provide employees with all information regarding Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. The CDC has risk assessments and procedures on the CDC site that may assist in categories and risk factors for your office. These assessments and procedures will assist you in determining what category you and your company may fall in. “Low Risk” jobs are ones that have minimal contact with the public and/or co-workers. “High Risk” jobs are jobs that have frequent contact with the public and/or others. The Synthetic Turf Industry is assessed “High Risk” and should be taken seriously, even if you are a small contactor of 2 or 3 employees. There can be a lot of interaction in completing an installation. From sales to clean-up, wearing PPE and respecting social distancing is crucial. The synthetic turf industry is thriving, so it is imperative that you do not overlook these assessments and protect your teams in all areas. 

Washing hands

The most effective way to protect yourself against viruses is by frequently cleaning your hands. You may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water. The CDC recommends washing before and after work shifts and breaks. Objects which have been handled by coworkers, such as office supplies (staplers, pencils, hole punch, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected daily. 

When installing turf there is a lot of grabbing, touching, sharing tools, etc. Having hand sanitizer at the office, vehicles, and job sites will assist in keeping hands clean. 

Temperature checks

Temperature checks are fast, simple, and can prevent an entire team from being exposed. The average temperature for a human is 98.6 F. When the temperature reaches 100.4 F, a fever is present. The CDC recommends that continuous temperature checks throughout the day will keep health and safety for employees. I recommend having the team leader/foreman take temperature checks for all employees before the entrance of work and/or stepping foot on any client’s property. 

PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

Who would have thought we would be choosing facemasks like picking out wardrobes at the mall? Many types of masks have been created since Covid-19. The CDC recommends wearing an N95 mask or equal. Many cloth-like masks are not approved by the CDC. Most companies and establishments are restricting entrance without the proper PPE. (Personal Protection Equipment). 

A new mask should be worn every day. If it is a cloth mask, it is recommended that it be kept clean and washed daily. Dirty PPE is useless and may cause health issues for the person wearing it. When sending your teams out into the field and onto the client’s properties, I recommend protecting everyone including the client by wearing the proper PPE. 

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Cleaning and Disinfecting is crucial. It is a fact that you must clean prior to disinfecting. Disinfecting alone may not work against the protection of viruses. Keeping the entire office, warehouse, and other employee areas clean and disinfected is not only crucial, but you must maintain this protocol daily and indefinite. Interacting with people coming and going into the office raises your risk since some people may have the virus and not know it since they have no symptoms.

This includes but not limited to:

  • Writing utensils
  • Phones
  • Fax
  • Computers (mouse, keys, cords, usb, etc.)
  • Copier Machine
  • Misc. office supplies (staplers, hole punch, etc.)
  • Breakroom (microwave, refrigerator, water faucets, etc.)
  • Bathrooms 
  • Waiting rooms 
  • Warehouse (Cutting machines, forklifts, wrapping, etc.)

Safety Measures for Clients, Vendors, and Customers

Meeting with clients and customers during a pandemic is not easy. Sales and consultations have less face to face engagement.  Virtual presentations have taken the place for measurements and design. Proposals and contracts are sent via the internet which allows the customer not to be present during the initial measuring and quoting of project. Clean samples are dropped off at the door and solo measuring is the new norm.

Transportation

Most synthetic turf companies have multiple workers that drive together to and from the jobsite. It is important that each team member wear the proper PPE while driving together. Lately I have seen construction workers driving with 4 to 6 workers in one vehicle. If social distancing is not practiced, one or more of your team members may contract the Covid-19. 

It is recommended by the CDC to clean and disinfect the inside of the vehicles that are transporting workers to and from the jobsite. I also recommend cleaning all metal toolboxes and handles that are attached to the vehicle. Metal is a surface that the covid-19 resides on the longest. 

When installing synthetic turf, the larger the installation the more manpower you will need. It is difficult to handle large rolls of turf being 6 feet apart. This is when you will need to practice being cautious and keep all PPE worn during the installation. During the hot days, I recommend bringing more than one PPE mask to work. When the masks get moist from breathing, it will cut down on the flow of oxygen, therefore an additional mask should be exchanged in its place. 

Make sure ALL tools are cleaned and disinfected daily. This is no joke.

Cleaning and Disinfecting are crucial when handling tools that are used in the field. It is a fact that you must clean before disinfecting. Disinfecting alone may not work against the protection of viruses. Germs and bacteria can blend with dirt and hide on surfaces where they cannot be cleaned nor sprayed by the disinfectant. It is recommended that you sanitize your hands and equipment throughout the day. There are many shared tools used when installing synthetic turf. Turf hand tools are not that expensive. During this pandemic, I recommend each installer have their own hand tools (knives, push cutters, kickers, turf grabbers, etc.) This will cut down on the chance of contracting any viruses. If you choose not to have your own or cannot afford it, I recommend having a sprayer of cleaner and disinfectant to spray the tools while sharing. Turf nails are made of metal and the entire team may be grabbing into the box/bucket. I am not saying clean every nail, lol, I am saying, per the CDC, Covid-19 sticks around longer on metal than other surfaces so wear gloves if all possible. Keeping all tools and equipment clean and disinfected is not only crucial, but you must maintain this protocol daily and indefinitely.

Synthetic Grass Warehouse Prevention

Synthetic Grass Warehouse has always been commitment to excellence and customer service. As a company we are heartbroken by the effects of Covid-19 has on our nation and across the globe. We have continued to stay open and have implemented policies and practices per the CDC guidelines and conduct health checks daily. SGW #1 concern is our family of customers. Our amazing team provides contactless ordering, contactless pick-up, contactless delivery, and the capability to order online. SGW and its staff clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at the beginning and end of every shift to ensure the safety for our employees and customers. We are grateful to be able to stay in business and provide quality products during this pandemic. 

Below are links of information regarding EPA regulations, certifications for COVID-19, and disinfectant uses. 

Disinfectant Use and Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://youtu.be/D-eWmTHtMKY

Next month ASK JW will stress the importance of “Adhesive Thickness” and how using the improper applicator will cause havoc on your installations.

For more information regarding Covid-19 and Synthetic Turf, or to schedule a training please contact J.W at  888.846.3598 or email AskJW@SGWcorp.com

Suggestions for the use of ASK JW installation techniques are solely at the end users’ discretion; however, the user should determine suitability for the intended use by his/her own evaluation. Because the use of the materials is beyond our control, neither ASK JW nor SGW shall be liable for the outcome of any use of said materials including any injury, loss, or damage, direct or consequential, arising out of the use or inability to use these techniques and products.