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9 protocols that make equipment rentals safer during COVID-19

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United Rentals has shared nine key protocols at the core of its response to COVID-19. Following the onset of the pandemic, the company acted quickly to implement new measures for the safety of its employees and customers, both inside and outside its branches.  

"Now, more than ever, construction and industrial companies are looking for assurance from partners that business is being conducted in the safest possible way," said Antwan Houston, director of operations preparedness for United Rentals. "In early March, we prioritized the development of guidelines to ensure safe, continuous operations for our internal teams and customers. This playbook has been operationalized companywide, with the flexibility to adapt to a fast-changing environment." 

Untied Rentals has detailed the following nine protocols for safe operations implemented in response to COVID-19: 

  • Drive-up service and designated drop zones: United Rentals offers contactless drive-up service that lets customers pick up or drop off equipment in designated areas without going inside the branch.
  • Last-touch disinfecting: Drivers disinfect commonly-touched surfaces upon delivering equipment at a worksite. This is the second time equipment is disinfected before it is put in the customer's hands.
  • Driver precautions: Drivers maintain safe social distancing at customer sites and wear a mask when a safe distancing is not possible.
  • Digital capabilities: Customers can browse equipment, schedule rentals and designate equipment off-rent from their computer or mobile app for a contactless transactional experience. 
  • Pre-rental disinfecting: In addition to performing safety and mechanical checks, United Rentals disinfects equipment before each rental, paying particular attention to controls, latches, seat belts and other high-touch surfaces.
  • Social distancing: Personnel maintain safe social distancing at branches and equipment yards, delineated by floor decals.
  • Plexiglass counter barriers: Branches have installed plexiglass barriers at service counters to provide added protection during in-person transactions. 
  • Personal protective equipment: United Rentals requires face coverings where social distancing cannot be achieved, and requires additional PPE as needed. The company provides PPE to its employees and where available, to customers who need it to enter the branch.
  • Communications: Protocols are emphasized at daily safety huddles with branch teams. In addition, periodic employee town halls reinforce top-down safety messaging, and constant input from branch and district managers ensure that local conditions are taken into account.

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