Since the pandemic hit the UK, MCS has been working hard to support its certified Installer base – regularly sharing updates and guidance as well as continually surveying Installers to help provide feedback direct to the government.
Following the latest government briefings, MCS has alerted installers to the latest guidance document that has been produced to help employers, employees and the self-employed in the UK understand how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A spokesperson for MCS highlights the key areas covered:
- Making sure that risk assessments for your business addresses the risks of COVID-19
- Managing and mitigating risk
- Maintaining social distancing wherever possible
- Cleaning the work area
In previous guidance to installers MCS emphasised the need for those consumers that have renewable technology installed to feel safe and warm in their home and that their access to heating, hot water and electricity is not compromised. With the latest guidance released 11 May 2020 MCS again remind installers that; ‘If you are attending a property to undertake essential maintenance and repair work, it is important that you adhere to the latest government guidance.’
As MCS acknowledges, Government guidance is continually evolving, and the MCS website is being kept up to date with the latest information but stress the following essential considerations:
- No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has Coronavirus symptoms, however mild.
- No work should be carried out in a household which is isolating because one or more family members has symptoms or where an individual has been advised to shield (unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household.)
- When working in a household where somebody is clinically vulnerable, but has not been asked to shield, for example, the home of someone over 70, prior arrangements should be made with vulnerable people to avoid any face-to-face contact, for example, when answering the door. You should be particularly strict about handwashing, coughing and sneezing hygiene, such as covering your nose and mouth and disposing of single-use tissues.
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
Updates can be found at www.mcscertified.com
The practical steps above are not exhaustive and all installers should familiarise themselves with the latest government guidance document which can be found at: https://bit.ly/2SZRiUX