Crushing in the Age of COVID-19
As new cases of COVID-19 continue to present themselves across the United States, many rock crushing and other essential material processing businesses remain in operation, potentially exposing crew members to the virus if certain safety criteria are not met.
With many health experts expecting a large surge of infection rates during the upcoming fall and winter seasons, it is more important than ever to take steps to protect the health of you and your coworkers on the crushing site by adhering to professional prevention recommendations, like those presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite crusher operators and crew members working in relatively solitary positions, there are often moments when personnel can find themselves in close proximity. As the virus is believed to spread through respiratory droplets between people in close contact, it is recommended that team members maintain a distance of more than 6 feet from each other when possible.
In some instances, it can be challenging to maintain 6 feet of distance between coworkers on the crushing job site which is why the CDC recommends that personnel cover their face with a cloth covering which has been shown to significantly prevent transmission of the virus, especially by those who may be asymptomatic.
For many crushing operations, like aggregate, concrete, and asphalt processing, team members are expected to wear personal protection equipment which may include gloves; however, when the gloves are off, it is recommended that personnel clean their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer to avoid spreading contaminated droplets.
Likewise, crew members should avoid touching their face whenever possible and limit tool sharing between coworkers. It is recommended that any tools and surfaces that are frequently used should be regularly cleaned and sanitized to reduce the possibility of contamination.
Perhaps most importantly, crushing site personnel should monitor their health daily and remain vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19 which may include a fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and others. If these symptoms develop, it is vital that crew members notify their employer and adhere to subsequent recommendations, like remaining home from work.
Above all, the pandemic and its effects continue to become more understood day by day. It is encouraged that any essential onsite workers, like those operating crushing equipment, observe their employer’s safety protocol and follow prevention recommendations by professional organizations like the CDC.
For the most up-to-date information from the CDC and OSHA regarding safely operating during COVID-19, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html. You can also visit you state or county health department’s websites for specific information or requirements that may apply in your location.
This article does not serve as an official safety recommendation by Eagle Crusher and should not be viewed as such. Relevant personnel should consult with their employer’s own prevention protocol and comply with any mandated safety guidelines. For more information on COVID-19 prevention and updates, visit cdc.gov.
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