By Martin Supply •
Industrial Vending Reduces COVID-19 Exposure
As COVID-19 continues to spread, it is more important than ever for companies to protect their workers by providing a safe, sanitary work environment. As a result, many companies are beginning to evaluate and adapt their workplace processes and procedures to ensure workers’ safety. One area to consider is the tool crib which can become a hot bed for transmitting COVID-19 through face-to-face interaction or through contamination of supplies and surfaces. Controlled dispensing through industrial vending can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, protect workers health and reduce a company’s risk for possible future shutdowns.
For on-site workers, social distancing and reducing the need for face-to-face interaction is critical. One way to accomplish this is by implementing an industrial vending solution for tool crib supplies. Visits to the tool crib by a worker can take place two to three times a day, putting the worker and tool crib manager at risk with multiple face-to-face interactions. Placing an industrial vending solution in the plant that can dispense consumable items like safety gloves, glasses, batteries, and ear protection can reduce multiple face-to-face visits at the tool crib and limit exposure and transmission of COVID-19. Tool crib managers can put more emphasis controlling the use and decontamination of other supplies like hand tools used round-the-clock by multiple people that must be disinfected after each use.
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Vending Reduces Supply Contamination
As companies put in place measures to limit face-to-face interactions and encourage social distancing, it is also important to reduce the handling of critical supplies and work tools by multiple people as much as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that it may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but the CDC is still learning more about how it does spread.
Open, unmanaged tool cribs that allow any worker to enter increase the chance that more than two workers could be in the tool crib at one time. In an open tool crib setting, you don’t know how many people before you may have picked up a pack of AA batteries or power drill and put it back on the shelf. Items used by multiple workers throughout the day such as drills, wrenches, pliers, bolt cutters and hard hats should be disinfected after each use. Unless disinfecting protocols are in place, these items may not be disinfected after or before use, putting workers at risk. With a controlled industrial vending solution tools and supplies like drills and hard hats, can be dispensed through a vending machine and returned to the tool crib manager at the end of a shift. Then, it can be properly disinfected and restocked in the vending machine for the next worker.
Vending Reduces Surface Contamination
In addition to the supplies themselves being handled by multiple people in an open tool crib setting, another consideration is the cleanliness of the tool crib itself. For example, when workers access products in tool cribs they often come in contact with shelving or bins storing the supplies, the tool crib door handle, light switch and other surfaces. You have an increased risk of direct exposure on the shelf itself and door handle, in addition to exposure from the supplies. When supplies are fully secured inside a vending machine, this is not a concern or risk, as only the tool crib manager or Martin Vending Specialist has access to the interior of the machine, including the shelving within, and the supplies.
With the current COVID-19 situation, it is essential that companies deploy new ways to limit face-to-face interaction and ensure tools are not being passed among multiple individuals without decontamination. Having an industrial vending solution in place reduces a company’s risk and also helps protect the well-being and health of workers.
Martin’s Industrial Vending Solution not only contributes to work safety, but has other benefits as well including:
- Reduced costs
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced theft
- Inventory shortages elimination
- Tracking and reporting
For more information, contact your Martin Sales Rep or call 800.828.8116.