As we move along the final steps out of lockdown and life slowly begins to return to normal, new guidelines for tradespeople working in the home have been issued to keep households safe.
The government’s official ‘working safely during coronavirus’ advice outlines the continued precautions residents should expect professional tradespeople to take when visiting their homes to carry out heating, plumbing or maintenance services.
To support the guidance, OFTEC, the registration body for off-gas grid heating, has created a simple checklist for consumers so they know what to expect.
Before arriving, tradespeople are advised to discuss with households how work will be carried out to reduce risk and ensure that all parties are comfortable with the arrangements.
Work must not be carried out if either the tradesperson or any member of the household display COVID-19 symptoms – unless it is to remedy a direct risk to safety. If an individual has previously been advised to shield, they may want to discuss further precautions with the tradesperson ahead of their visit.
The additional measures it is recommended tradespeople take include:
- Continuing to wear a facemask and regularly sanitising hands
- Asking households to leave all internal doors open to reduce contact with handles
- Minimising movement in busy areas of the home, such as stairs and corridors
- Limiting the number of workers within a confined space
- Taking breaks outside where possible
Households can also help to keep both themselves and tradespeople safe by:
- Keeping surfaces and rooms where tradespeople are working clean and ventilated
- Clearly outlining the work required and providing photos if possible for the tradesperson before arrival to reduce the amount of time they need to spend in the home
- Carefully reviewing any new government measures before the tradesperson arrives and clarifying any questions or concerns in advance
Malcolm Farrow of OFTEC, commented: “As Covid-19 precautions continue to ease, more people will be comfortable welcoming tradespeople into their homes to complete projects or maintenance work. It’s important, however, for everybody to remain cautious to protect themselves and others and avoid any risk of increasing the rate of transmission again as we head towards the colder months.”
“For the households who need to have work completed on their heating system, always ensure you use a GasSafe registered technician for mains gas, or an OFTEC registered professional for oil and other non-gas heating as they are fully qualified and follow strict safety guidelines.”
For more information and advice visit OFTEC or the government website.