We understand that this is an uncertain time for many tradespeople, particularly following the latest Government announcement which has permitted many to return to work.
In fact, according to our new research, 75 percent of installers feel ‘apprehensive’ about returning to work, with risk of infection being the main concern for those surveyed. At Baxi, we want to ensure we are doing everything we can to support you through these times, which is why we have created a 3-part work plan to help outline ways to work safely in customer’s homes.
The new guidance lays out clear steps for you to follow, in line with Government advice, from pre-arrival checks and communication with customers before visiting a property, to correct social distancing and emphasis on the safe use of equipment on site, including increased cleaning and hygiene procedures to help minimise the risk of virus transmission.
We have produced a useful three-step guide for working safely in your customer's home, which can be found below, and is also downloadable here. We have also created a guide for you to give to your customer so that they are aware of the safety measures you are carrying out and what you expect from them to ensure you are both safe at all times, downloadable here.
1) Before arriving at your customer’s home
- Before arriving at your customer’s home, call to ask if they, or any occupants, have signs of the virus, are self-isolating or are vulnerable.
- Ideally interact with your customer as much as possible over the phone, or via tools such as FaceTime and WhatsApp to avoid unnecessary face to face contact.
- Explain to your customer that you will need to maintain a safe 2-metre distance at all times, including when you arrive, during the job, and when leaving their property.
2)Arriving and working at your customer’s home
- Ideally travel to your customer’s home alone.
- Stand back from the door while your customer answers, at a safe 2-metre distance. Avoid shaking hands with your customer or other occupants and ask if other occupants can stay in another room, away from your work area(s).
- PPE could be worn in addition to your usual protective wear to protect you, your colleagues and your customer including eye protection, gloves, coveralls and a suitable face mask.
- If there are two of you, if possible, work side-by side or back-to-back rather than face-to-face.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds at the start of the job, at regular intervals during, and after you have finished. We recommend soap and water, however an alcohol-based hand sanitiser can be used where this isn’t available.
- Wipe down your work area, equipment and the surfaces you touch regularly.
- Ensure 2-metre distancing is observed at all times, including when moving around your customer’s home. Ask householders to leave all internal doors open to minimise contact with door handles and other surfaces.
- Avoid touching your face at all times. If you are unable to socially distance from your customer, a protective mask should be worn.
- Only take the minimum tools required into the property to allow you to complete the job. Do not share tools or allow others to touch them.
- Bring your own food and drink to the property and take breaks outside where possible. Ensure regular hand-washing before and after breaks.
3) Job Completion
- Remove all equipment from the work area and wipe down any tools, surfaces and instruments used in your customer’s home.
- Ensure you bag up any waste inline with Government guidance and follow local waste regulations for disposal.
- Ensure you wash your hands again, using soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser before moving to your next job.
- Maintain a safe 2-metre distance when leaving your customer’s home. Do not touch the door handle or other surfaces on your way out.
- Avoid collecting a customer signature if this could be sent electronically or at a later date. Sharing of pens, tablets and mobile phones could pose a risk.
Further advice can be found at the following places here and here. Please check these websites regularly as advice can frequently change.