Guidance on Emergency Repair Work for Renewable Technologies during the pandemic
31st March 2020
For those consumers that have renewable technology installed – it is important that they can feel safe and warm in their home and that their access to heating, hot water and electricity is not compromised.
If you are attending a property to undertake essential maintenance and repair work, it is important that you adhere to the latest government guidance.
The government brought into effect new measures on Monday 23rd March:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
- Closing certain businesses and venues.
- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.
Based on the current government guidance, you can travel for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home. If you cannot work from home then you can still travel for work purposes, provided you are not showing Coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.
Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).
Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.
We would advise that ahead of attending any appointments with consumers – the Installer should make contact to determine the health status of the household to determine and minimise any risks.
No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.
If it is suitable to undertake work at the property, you should advise the consumer of what health and safety measures you have put in place, and how they can respect these.
- When discussing an appointment with your customer/s, ask if they or any occupants are self-isolating, displaying any symptoms of COVID19, and/or have received a positive diagnosis
- Where the householders are not self-isolating, displaying any symptoms, and have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, trades may attend for emergency situations, whilst exercising general best practice in line with the latest Government guidance for the public: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public which could include additional PPE, such as disposable overalls, disposable gloves, eye protection, and suitable face mask.
- Government guidance is continually evolving, but 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 householders, you should also consider the welfare of any colleagues, especially if they fall into one of the vulnerable categories.
Practical steps to take when working in the field:
- 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
- Explain to your customers what you will be doing, and why, and that you will need to maintain a safe distance from them (2m), including when waiting for the customer to open the door.
- Do not shake hands with the customer or other occupants.
- Ask if the occupants can stay in another room, away from the work area(s) whilst the work proceeds, and with permission ventilate the work area where appropriate, e.g. by opening a window
- 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
- Wear suitable work gloves
- 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.
- 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;
No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has Coronavirus symptoms, however mild.