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Working Safely in your Home

Monday, 6th July 2020

With COVID-19 restrictions now lifted significantly, many homeowners are thinking about how they can kick-off those home improvements they were never able to get started due to lockdown. Tradespeople are now officially allowed in homes so long as they can work safely and it’s really important that you know the one you’re using has taken all the necessary precautions before allowing them in.

From vetting them before arrival to ensuring they don’t use your loo or crockery to make a brew, the free ‘Safe Guide for Homeowners (produced by the Glass and Glazing Federation – GGF) here contains all you need to know. Here’s the key points from this excellent guide.

How healthy is your home?

Before employing a tradesperson or improvement firm to work in your property, you should first consider how healthy your home is, to safeguard not only yourself and others living there, but the tradespeople working there as well. Make sure you ask yourself:

  • Is there anyone with underlying health conditions living in the property?
  • Does anyone living there have symptoms of COVID-19 (if so, please don’t let a tradesperson in!)
  • Could anyone enter my home impact the health of anyone living in it?
  • Are there any sick or elderly people living there who could be more impacted?
  • Will anyone visiting my home, such as a surveyor or a tradesperson, be affected by working in my home?

Once you’re sure that your home is safe in relation to the above few points, you can then start thinking about how improvement work can actually make your home healthier. Maybe your home is draughty or damp? Urgently needs new windows and doors? Maybe the ventilation needs improving? Or the home could do with some extra natural light? There are so many ways you can make your home healthier, which we’ll explore in more detail in another blog. With many of us now spending more time inside than we ever have, now’s a good time to work towards making your home as healthy as it can be!

What to expect from a company 

The nature of the job means that a tradesperson’s working environment can significantly change day to day – one day they’ll be working outside on an extension, and the next they’ll be fitting a kitchen. They’ll be well equipped to deal with changes in the environment already, but they should also be able to prove adherence to a number of health and safety measures in current circumstances. First and foremost, you should be absolutely sure that they’re working to Government guidelines and a professional resource, such as our safe guide. Secondly, ensure they’ve carried out a comprehensive health and safety assessment for the job and they’ve briefed their entire team on it. Don’t feel nervous to ask this question – it’s safer all round and they’ll already be very used to hearing it.

Other health and safety factors should include: regular use of hand sanitiser, ensuring they know which parts of the home you don’t want them to enter and sticking to this, eating somewhere away from the property such as in their van, as well as cleaning down any surfaces they’ve handled or installed at the end of each day. There are lots of other things to consider, so please check out the full list in the GGF safe guide.

Letting workers into your home

Once you’re happy the company or tradesperson is on board with the points above, it’s advisable to:

  • Agree a suitable arrival time and process so you can be fully prepared
  • Ask them to email identification and names of the tradespeople that will be working in your home in advance
  • When they arrive at your door, stand two metres back and confirm that neither you or any other member of your household is suffering from symptoms or COVID-19, and ask them to do the same
  • Ensure they’re wearing the necessary PPE (see section six of our guide for full information on this)
  • Confirm they’ve been briefed on health and safety awareness and Government guidance

Having spent so long under restrictions, many people are itching to start making home improvements. Hopefully, the decision to do this in the current climate will be easier if you’ve followed the precautions outlined in this article.

The GGF/MyGlazing Stay Safe Checklist

NOTE:

  1. You can check the company you are using is following GGF and Government Safe Guidance by referring to the GGF Safe Guide for Homeowners.
  2. Also ensure you ask the company you are using, to show you their Risk Assessment for the work they are proposing to do in or around your home. See an example of a Risk Assessment Form here

By ensuring you’re using tradespeople that adhere to the highest industry standards and follow the latest Government and Public Health England guidance, you can kick-start those important improvements. The GGF has issued its “Safe Guide for Companies” (which is aligned to the Government guidance) in digital format to all of its Members, so you can rest assured that you’ll be in safe hands with them.  You can find an approved GGF member here.

Back to Stay Safe Homepage

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