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Return to work safety steps for tradespeople during COVID-19

Industries and businesses throughout the UK have been brought to a standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak – with lockdown measures putting a stop to many forms of work when they were introduced on the 23rd March. The government is now allowing a range of professions to restart work as long as strict safety measures are in place.

Tradesmen - including plumbers are returning to work amid relaxed rules. Workers hoping to return to projects in other people’s homes will also be required to ensure they have no symptoms of the potentially deadly virus – which can include a cough and high temperature.

Measures must be taken to ensure that government instructions on social distancing1 are strictly adhered to and should be communicated to the workforce as frequently as is necessary, to ensure it is clearly understood, in order for employees to protect themselves, their colleagues, their families and to prevent further spread of the virus.

Tradespeople and working in people’s homes

  • All individuals, from directors and managers to employees must take responsibility for helping to manage the spread of Coronavirus.
  • If you are a tradesperson carrying out essential repairs and maintenance in people’s homes. You can continue work, providing that you are well and have no symptoms. You should notify all clients in advance of your arrival.
  • On entry to the home, you should wash your hands using soap and water for 20 seconds. You should wash your hands regularly, particularly after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing, and when leaving the property. Where facilities to wash hands are not available, hand sanitiser should be used, and you should carry this with you at all times.
  • You should maintain a safe distance (at least 2 metres) from any household occupants at all times, and ensure good ventilation in the area where you are working, including opening the window.
  • No work should be carried out in any household, which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless your work is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repair.
  • No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild. Stay home if sick and you should be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to work.
  • Adhere to all hygiene protocols – clear management of infection risk and contamination, including thorough cleaning of tools, vehicles internally and externally, along with accessories such as keys, before and after each use.
  • Depending on your working environment, you may need to consider providing additional PPE, including gloves, masks or anti-viral hand gel for employees. If you want employees to wear gloves or masks, then you will also need to think about providing guidance on their correct usage – since both can be ineffective if used incorrectly.

 

Sources:

1. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19


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