Job safety has long been an important part of self-employment. Physical safety, health, and liability must all be considered to protect both the independent contractor as well as the client. However, with COVID running its course, taking the proper precautions is more important than ever. Whether you are already an independent contractor or considering becoming one, consider how you can stay safe.
Staying Safe During the Pandemic
It seems like every state is moving at a different pace. In some states, life has resumed to a “new normal.” In other states, many businesses and events remain shut down. When considering your personal safety as an independent contractor, make sure you do so through the lens of your state’s mandates. Health risks aside, you don’t want to deal with a lawsuit for offering your services illegally.
If your state does allow and encourage independent contractors to safely pursue their work, it’s time to consider health. How can you protect yourself and your client from the risk of COVID? You can start by implementing the following safety tips.
- Determine whether or not your client (or anyone in their home) is high-risk; if they are, make arrangements for them to be in a safe place while you work.
- Wear the appropriate protective gear (gloves, mask, etc.).
- Encourage your client to sanitize before you arrive, and sanitize again when you leave.
- Begin each day with a self-administered temperature check.
- Ask your clients to let you know if they have experienced any common COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, aches, allergy symptoms, headache, or loss of taste or smell.
- If you are working on a team, remove community items, such as drink coolers.
- Encourage social distancing to the absolute best of your ability.
- Switch to digital forms and marketing to avoid cross-contamination through paper.
- Provide daily health forms for your subcontractors or clients.
- Order supplies online rather than picking them up in the store.
- Ask your client about their level of comfort and how you can set them at ease while in their home.
Staying Safe On the Job Site
Safety during a pandemic is important, but so is pre and post-pandemic safety. Particularly in the mold assessment and remediation business, it is easy to ingest toxins that do not belong in your body. Additionally, you might find yourself in structurally compromised buildings or lifting heavy items. All of these factors work together to make basic job safety important.
How can you implement basic safety measures into your daily routine? Take a look at the following tips.
- Again, wear the appropriate gear for your job; in mold remediation, masking up is particularly important for lung protection.
- Before climbing ladders or equipment, check your shoes for mud or water to avoid slipping.
- Always employ a second pair of hands (or eyes) when loading and unloading heavy equipment.
- Keep the work area as clutter-free as possible to avoid missteps and tripping.
- Keep up with equipment maintenance to prevent dangerous malfunctions during jobs.
- Communicate constantly with your team members regarding what’s going on.
- Continually further your education in the industry, and make sure your team members have received the proper licensing and training.
- Make sure you have the proper insurance to protect yourself from job accidents.
- Provide the correct liability forms for your client to avoid some nasty legal procedures in the event of an accident.
Are You Interested in Becoming an Independent Contractor?
If you aren’t sure how to go about taking classes or the licensing examination, call us today. The National Environmental Training Institute (NETI) is a state-certified training company offering Mold Remediator and Mold Assessor training. NETI also offers continuing education units (CEU’s), certification, and licensing.