Mini Digger Operations and Safety Protocols During Covid19 Pandemic

11 June 2020

One type of construction operations that has been directly hit by the pandemic is the excavation operations. Excavation activities, which are conducted with the help of mini diggers and other types of excavators, typically require personnel who will operate the mini digger itself while the others oversee excavation-related activities. These activities include the construction of wells, trenches, and drainage, the surveying of ground and top levels, the formation of building boundaries, and many more. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the direct interaction between excavation and these activities would have to be reduced for now.

Fortunately, some mini digger operations may now resume, as long as they adhere to the following safety protocols set by the authorities and statutory agencies.

Monitor Health Conditions

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus at a workplace or site, companies must constantly check and monitor the health conditions of their employees. Employers must know the early signs and symptoms of COVID-19 so that they can immediately assess if their employees may have gotten the disease or not. If employees display exact symptoms of the virus, then they must be ordered to leave the workplace immediately, undergo quarantine measures, and seek medical attention.

Practice Physical Distancing

As part of the new normal operations, mini digger operations must be conducted with the consideration of physical distancing. Physical or social distancing requires all staff members to distance themselves from each other. A person must maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others to reduce the chances of getting exposed to viruses. Additionally, the occupied space of a person within a given excavation site or location must be at least 4 square metres.

Observe Proper Hygiene

Everyone on the excavation site must practice proper hygiene, which involves the frequent washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This activity must be done before and after eating, after coughing or sneezing, after going to the toilet, and when doing tasks that involve the use of frequently used objects or surfaces. They must also cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues in closed bins, use alcohol-based sanitisers with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol, and many more.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) can help minimise the risks faced by mini digger workers. PPE usually includes masks, gloves, eye protection, and screen. The use of PPE can go together with proper hygiene measures, physical distancing, and other controls that can help avoid the spread of COVID-19 in the excavation site. Masks and eye protection can help protect workers from being exposed to droplets. These can also prevent them from rubbing their face unintentionally.

Clean and Disinfect Areas

Regular cleaning and disinfection of areas, as well as the equipment and products for excavation, must be done thoroughly to prevent the spread of diseases and viruses. Some workplaces may be cleaned with detergent and water. Others, however, would require much stronger cleaning agents to completely sanitise them. As for mini diggers, they must be cleaned first to remove dust and dirt. Once they are cleaned, their surfaces must be disinfected to remove viruses and bacteria.

Following these safety protocols can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 without compromising the quality of the excavation work. If you have questions about these safety protocols, feel free to ask us at Melbourne Mini Diggers.