Even though the UK is in national lockdown, the Government has confirmed that maintenance and repair works can continue, but precautions must be taken.
In Wales, construction work in people’s homes is banned unless it is urgent.
In Scotland, construction sites can remain open since construction workers cannot “work from home”. Guidance for tradesmen working in private houses, located in Tier 4, was already in place but that is now law, meaning only essential repairs can take place.
In Northern Ireland, again, non-essential construction is banned, with sites closed by 6pm. And, in England, construction can continue and tradespeople can work in people’s homes, as long as COVID-secure guidelines are adhered to.
Construction Scotland has issued new safe operating guidance and the Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum has a number of initiatives that call upon the construction industry to play its part. In doing so, everyone is kept safe. Plus, the CICV has a pre-work COVID checklist, which details measures that contractors and consumers can take before any work starts.
But what are the basic measures?
If you a tradesperson working on a construction site or entering someone’s home, you should:
- Wear a face mask, particularly where a two-metre safe distance cannot be maintained.
- Wash your hands before starting a job and after you have finished.
- Wipe all tools being used.
- Not enter a place of work if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
If you are letting a tradesperson into your home to carry out essential repairs, you should:
- Not let anyone enter your house if you are isolating or are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
- Ventilate your property by opening a window where the tradesperson will be working.
- Stay in a separate room whilst work/repairs are being carried out.
- Observe social distancing.
- Make payments using cards rather than cash.
If you are a homeowner and carrying out a DIY project:
- Do not attempt to carry out any work on gas and electricity installations. Use qualified individuals only.
- Before you start work, check that you have all the tools you need to finish the task in hand.
- Order essential tools online and use contact-less click and collect services to pick them up.
- Make sure any equipment you need to use is in good working order. If it’s not, don’t attempt the job.
- Check the area you wish to work in and identify any hazards. Remove them before you start work.
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