With COVID-19 forcing us to look at new ways of working, our Head of Health and Safety, Mark Hemmins, provides guidance around safe working practices for tradespeople while working on the job.
PPE has always been an important part of a tradesperson’s day-to-day life but, in 2020, it has taken on a whole new significance.
Whereas one of the main thoughts when visiting a client’s house just six months ago would have been the quality of tea provided, there’s now a whole list of more significant considerations on the agenda daily.
COVID-19 has dramatically changed the landscape in just about every walk of life and that is certainly no different for our customers who, virtually without exception, have been fantastic in adhering to the new guidelines in our 68 branches as we have gone through the process of reopening.
But, as we slowly ease out of lockdown, what precautions should you take to ensure you remain COVID-compliant as you go about your daily work? Here are a few tips to consider.
Depending on the job in hand, some tradespeople would have a face mask or visor as part of their daily attire as a matter of course.
To adjust to the current situation, my recommendation would be that every trade professional entering a client’s home – or an alternative site – should wear a face covering.
I appreciate some people will think twice about that as it’s not always the most comfortable feeling, but I genuinely think that’s the right approach to protect you, your client and your business.
The more precautions you take against COVID-19, the more your customers will draw confidence and feel assured - and the more likely they are to welcome you into their house to carry out that important job.
In terms of what coverings to use, we have an array of masks, including the FFP1 Premier Mask,which has added comfort due to a moulded shell to adjust to a user’s face.
For those who prefer a visor, the Scan Face Shield and Visor is an excellent product providing unrestricted working vision.
Gloves and Sanitiser
While face coverings are a vital part of the PPE offering, our hands should also be protected.
It’s no surprise we’ve been continuously asked to wash our hands since the virus arrived in the UK as that is a key method to reduce transmission.
Donning a pair of gloves where possible would be another sensible suggestion for tradespeople.
As well as protection from COVID-19, SW Powerform Nitrile Biodegradable gloves and Blackrock Disposable Nitrile Gloves, both provide an excellent grip, even in wet conditions.
For those who can’t wear gloves due to the nature of their job or don’t wear them throughout, Bond It Hand Sanitiser is another wise purchase to make in these trying times. Apply regularly – around every hour or whenever you arrive or leave a place of work - to protect both you and your client.
It’s a term we’ve all had to come to grips with over recent months and something that will be crucial to adhere to in the homes of your clients over the coming months.
At all times, you should try and stay 2 metres – or 1 metre-plus – away from your clients. It’s a very difficult task because – since year dot – our natural instinct as human beings has been to socialise, but it’s important we uphold that guidance.
If it’s proving a struggle to do that while you are working on a specific job, I’m sure your client will be respectful of any polite request to keep an appropriate distance.