The HVACR Training Authority™


Toolbox Talk: The Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.

This document provides general information about a safety and health topic and is only intended for use in facilitating discussions with employees in safety meetings. It does not address all hazards, OSHA or local requirements related to the topic. This document cannot be relied on to determine whether a site-specific situation meets all safety and health requirements.


  • The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6-ft.) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can 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.
  • Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in some cases death.
  • Social media is spreading a lot of misinformation. This information is directly from the CDC.
  • People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.
  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should
  1. Stay home when you are sick.
  2. Cover your cough or sneeze by tucking your face into your elbow or use a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  4. Avoid sharing items like pens or tools.
  • While it is not known to be deadly to younger/healthier individuals, that doesn't mean you won't contribute to spreading the illness to your coworkers or families. Protect your coworkers' children and the elderly by following these actions.


This advice for contractors was originally posted by the Plumbing Contractors Association of Greater Chicago. Our thanks to Executive Director S.J. Peters for permission to repost.

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