Advice for Contractors during the Covid-19 crisis
NO WORK SHOULD BE CONSIDERED BY ANY CONTRACTOR THAT HAS ANY CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS
ARRANGING THE WORK
- When discussing the appointment with the Lenwell office(s) please ask if any occupants are self isolating, displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have received a positive diagnosis.
- No work should be carried out in any household that is self isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household such as an emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the contractor is willing to do so.
- The member of staff who arranges the work order with you will confirm the status of the tenants health, and that it is safe for you to enter the property.
- Lenwell staff will ensure, where possible and resources allow, that local contractors are used and allocate the same worker to the same household each time there is a visit, for example the same electrician.
- By accepting the works order you are confirming you accept these terms of business and that you are not displaying any symptoms.
- Where the householders are not self isolating, displaying any symptoms, and have not displayed any symptoms and have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, contractors may attend for emergency situations whilst exercising general best practice in line with the latest Government guidance for the public which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public . It is important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines are followed.
- Government guidance is continually evolving but please be especially vigilant of those persons currently identified as most at risk, such as the over-70’s, and/or with underlying health issues.
- As well as protecting yourself, and tenants, you should also consider the welfare of any colleagues, especially if they fall into one of the vulnerable categories.
- Vehicles must be cleaned regularly using gloves and standard cleaning products with an emphasis on handles and other frequently touched surfaces.
ON THE DAY OF WORK:
- On the day of the work, call ahead to your customer to ask if they or any occupants have signs of the virus, have been diagnosed, or are self-isolating, and to check that they are comfortable with your visit to take place.
- Ask that all internal doors and windows are left open to minimise contact with door handles and ensure rooms are well ventilated.
- Explain to your customers what you will be doing, and why, and that you will need to maintain a safe distance from them (2m or 6 steps away is current Government advice), including when waiting for the customer to open the door.
- Do not shake hands with the customer or other occupants.
- Identify busy areas such as stairs and ask if the occupants can stay in another room, away from the work area(s) whilst the work proceeds.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, at the start of the job and after (also during the work). It is recommended to carry your own hand-towel with your equipment. Wash/replace hand-towel at end of each day/shift.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve, not your hands. Throw the tissue in the bin immediately, then wash your hands.
- Wear suitable work gloves and a face covering to help limit the spread of the virus. Wearing a face covering is optional and not required by law, and may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence suggests it does not protect you but may protect others if you are infected but have not yet developed any symptoms.
- A face covering can be very simple and may be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. It just needs to cover your mouth and nose. Guidance on how to make one at home can be found at www.gov.uk
- It is not the same as a face mask, such as those used by health and care workers. Similarly face coverings are not the same as the PPE used to manage risks like dust and spray in an industrial context. Supplies of PPE must continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers and those in industrial settings.
If you do choose to wear one please adhere to the following:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it.
- When wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands.
- Change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you have touched it.
- Continue to wash your hands regularly.
- Change and wash your face covering daily.
- If the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste.
- Practise social distancing wherever possible.
- Tenants should ensure that the work area is cleared and clean prior to your visit. You should touch surfaces as little as possible and using usual household cleaning products, you should clean these areas thoroughly when you are finished.
- If you feel unsafe or at risk at any point, undertake a personal risk assessment and leave the premises if necessary. You can re-plan for a future date if appropriate, after ensuring everything is made safe.
- Avoid collecting a signature at the end of the job.
- In an emergency, for example, an accident or fire on the premises people do not have to stay 2m apart if it would be unsafe. People involved in the provision of assistance to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards, including washing hands.
UPON COMPLETION OF THE JOB:
- Wipe down any operational rubber gloves, tools and instruments used within the premises.
- Remove and place into a plastic bag any wipes, disposable gloves and overalls used, whilst trying not to cross-contaminate onto existing clothes or persons.
- Do not touch your face.
- Ensure you then clean/wash your hands, and where possible/appropriate any reusable PPE (e.g. safety glasses), using soap and water, or use suitable hand sanitiser on hands before moving to your next job.
- At the end of each day and following the appropriate local waste regulations dispose of any bagged waste in line with any existing business process and/or Government guidance.
(The guidance above is to assist the business/individual. It also incorporates some of the guidance issued by the Government on 11 May 2020 titled ‘Working safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes’.)
Government advice can be viewed here.
You can watch our webinar for contractors here.
(The guidance above is to assist the business/individual. It does not form an official process/not set out by Government. and is current Lenwell advice on 13th May 2020)