With a huge rise in home improvements, and better weather on the way, tradespeople have never been more in demand. But despite calls for a priority vaccine, it looks like it will be a while before tradespeople will be next in line for their jab. So how can you check someone is doing everything they can to keep you and your family safe?
The Trades’ Coach and bestselling author Alison Warner* reveals the top things to look out for with this handy six-point checklist:
- Gives clear and upfront information about their Covid procedures
A good company will be proactive about what they are doing to keep customers safe. Information should be clearly signposted on their website and posted regularly on social media channels, keeping customers reassured. They should go through everything with you when you book a job and happily answer any questions or queries you may have.
- Uses technology to minimise contact
Many tradespeople will ask customers to send photos of a problem or job before they come round, and will cut out unnecessary face to face contact. Video conferencing technology can also be used to discuss more complex jobs, if the company needs to get a better look at your house, or go through their procedures in more detail. Choose a company that is using technology in an innovative way and uses contactless payment methods, instead of cash.
- Goes the extra mile with PPE
Wearing a mask is standard, but what other measures is a tradesperson taking? Wearing gloves, shoe coverings and regularly using hand sanitisers shows an extra level of care that is a good indicator of general hygiene standards.
- Regularly tests staff
Tradespeople are in and out of homes and workplaces all the time and come into contact with lots of different people. Companies should be regularly monitoring and testing their staff for symptoms to prevent spreading the Covid19 virus.
- Supervises sub-contractors’ health and safety
Many companies use sub-contractors or temporary staff that also work for multiple businesses. Find out what they are doing to ensure everyone coming into your property is following the same rules and procedures.
- Asks the right questions
Staying Covid safe is everyone’s responsibility and it is important all parties take the right precautions. A responsible company should ask if you and your family have travelled abroad, if you have any Covid symptoms or if there is anyone vulnerable in your household.
John Newland Jenner, owner of JNJ Building Solutions has set the gold standard for Covid-safe operations, in his building company in Warlingham, Surrey.
John said “We have put measures in place to reduce face to face contact by 80%. We run virtual tours over Zoom and maintain close communication with customers and our staff to monitor them for Covid-like symptoms.
We have sanitiser stations on all our building projects, gloves and masks are mandatory and we run ‘toolbox talks’ with our subcontractors to make sure everyone is fully aware of our Covid standards and procedures. It’s all about working together to make sure everyone is comfortable, feels safe and knows exactly what to expect.”