Going back to the start of 2020, no one could have guessed the extent that COVID-19 would impact our everyday lives. Previously little-used terms such as social distancing or phsycial distancing are now commonly used and for some, they will always instil a feeling of anxiety when it comes to working closely alongside others.
Obviously, when training, close person-to-person contact is often inevitable and therefore at ALG Safety, we are proud to be able to provide a solution to minimise person-to-person contact… training manikins!
It is true that we have seen an increase in interest from all sectors as teams seek to ensure stricter social distancing methods during their essential safety or rescue training and it is fast becoming obvious that for many, training manikins help you to achieve this. It is also true that we have had more queries about what can be done to clean the manikins safely.
SOME TIPS ON MANIKIN CARE DURING COVID19
Our Manikins have a full Equipment Note which can be found here, which offers care instructions.
We understand that during the pandemic, you may wish to be extra careful and take additional precautions which include washing and cleaning your manikins more frequently.
Probably the simplest step to take is to ensure that you have clean overalls for your manikin – preferably at least two sets so that you can wash them frequently. Our overalls are machine washable at 40 degrees, and by keeping multiple sets, you can change them between sessions, even between participants in your course, to help minimise cross-contamination.
Replacement overalls are a cost-effective way to prolong the life of your manikin anyway, but it’s worth keeping in mind that this simple step of changing the overalls might also help to minimise the risk of contamination if changed frequently and machine washed regularly.
Bleach free multi-surface cleaners or wipes such as Dettol could be used between participants and shouldn’t have an adverse effect on the fabric if used appropriately. Dettol gives the following advice on their website in relation to COVID19 https://www.dettol.co.uk/about-us/understanding-coronavirus/
Most of our manikins are made from a tough polyester fabric – the best way to clean the carcass of the manikin is to hand wash it with hot, soapy water. You can scrub it thoroughly and then hang the manikin to dry completely before the next changing session. It is very important that the manikin is dried properly to make sure that mould and mildew do not form. You can use the loop at the back of the manikin to suspend it in the air for effective drying.
Bleaches and chlorine-based cleaning fluids are highly effective against germs but using them will degrade the materials very quickly, decreasing the integrity of the fabric and stitching and shorten the usable life of your manikin. We do NOT recommend their use.
You may also want to consider the use of a Ruth Lee Carry holdall to store your manikin between training sessions. These are made from reinforced PVC and are very easy to clean…making sure that no one accidentally sneezes on your training buddy in passing!
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Always remember, prevention is better than the cure! So, if you can reduce the risk of contamination to your manikin in the first instance, this is always preferable.
Enforce strict health screening at your facility – have an open and honest culture built on trust whereby someone who is potentially suffering from COVID19, or has been in contact with someone who has, does not take part in training and potentially spread the virus. Live to train another day!