As moving is still considered an “essential service” by many states and governmental bodies, you may still have a lot of questions and concerns if you’re currently running or working for a moving company.
Maintaining social distancing is still best practice. But if you find yourself in an essential job, distancing may not always be an option for you. This is especially true for professional movers right now.
As we are taking in safety information from governing bodies, here are the best things movers can do to operate during the coronavirus pandemic.
Follow all CDC Recommendations
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)“.
The first and obvious thing is to not work or work for anyone who experiences:
- Shortness of breath
Should anyone on your crew be exposed to anyone experiencing these symptoms or exhibits any themselves, they should not be working and should seek medical assessment immediately.
HireAHelper continues to request that all Moving Service Providers and customers cease using the HireAHelper platform if they suspect they may be exposed.
But there are many other practices the CDC recommends all workplaces adopt during these times, which may be particularly useful to moving companies.
Do all assessments online over the phone
Minimize or eliminate all house tours or assessments during this time, or offer to do them virtually. HireAHelper’s trained call center can also assist in figuring out number of hours and crew needed, if you are uncomfortable doing so.
Enforce the use of new moving boxes
The National Institute of Health reports that COVID-19 can live on the surface of cardboard for up to 24 hours. For this reason, it is highly suggested that you communicate the need for new boxes to all your customers, or adopt a permanent fee to provide them yourself during the pandemic.
Wash your hands a lot
We recommend you wash your hands immediately after removing any safety gear, but in addition, it’s best practice to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after leaving a residence.
Wear protective gear
Nonsterile, disposable gloves and masks are major essentials while on the job. Not only does wearing them protect you, but it reassures your customers that you are taking their safety seriously.
And as you probably have already heard, avoid touching your face during a move as much as possible!
Keep 6-feet away from your customers
Yes, this of course means no handshaking. You may instinctively feel like you’re about to lose your 5-star rating, but communicating to your customers that you will maintain distance during a move is currently the best way to keep everybody as safe as possible (and still earn your great review!)
Routinely disinfect key objects
Make sure to:
- Disinfect doorknobs and truck handles often
- Prop doors open, where possible
- Disinfect flat surfaces/loading areas that will be repeatedly used
- Do not use or interact with a customer’s phone
- Disinfect your vehicle before and after, if you are providing one
Most common household disinfectants will work for this. For the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved list of disinfectants that are effective against COVID-19, click here.
Read what moving companies are reporting about job cancellations during COVID-19.
Avoid kicking up dust
The CDC recommends proper ventilation, increasing the amount of outdoor air that circulates within an area as much as possible.
This means you should ask your customers ahead of time to make sure as many doors and windows are open as possible from the areas being moved, to facilitate airflow.
In addition to avoiding large amounts of dust, the CDC also recommends you avoid stirring up dirty laundry.
Note: If you are on-site and suspect your health may be at risk, HireAHelper is waiving all “no-show” and COVID-19 related cancellation fees as part of our updated safety measures.
Update Your Public Channels
How you conduct yourself on the job actually begins before you’re even booked. Given the differing guidelines for essential services state-by-state and even county-by-county, customers may assume movers are not currently operating.
We recommend the following:
- Write a professional statement to be posted on your website, HireAHelper profile, and elsewhere stating your safety policy guidelines and hours of operation
- Update your HireAHelper profile with imagery of your crew wearing safety gear
- Change your customer voicemail to reflect your awareness of the pandemic
This will not only keep everyone safer and calmer, but is likely to net you more jobs, too.
Keep in constant contact with your customers
For optimal transparency and safety, we highly recommend calling your customers multiple times leading up to their moving day with the health status of your crew, as well as to ask for updated details from them, including:
- Confirmation of health status
- The number of people present at potentially both the loading and unloading zones
- Requested air circulation and disinfectant
You should also take this time to reassure them of your commitment to their safety, including your intention to maintain distance.
Note that HireAHelper is waiving all same-day cancellation fees in an effort to promote optimal safety during this time. If anyone feels sick or suspects an infection, contact us free of penalty.
For more information on HireAHelper’s safety measures and policy changes during COVID-19, click here.