In light of the current COVID-19 situation, the Government has announced plans to get those who cannot work from home back to work. In doing so, they have published the Recovery Strategy for the UK in line with the Prime Minister's address on the 10th May 2020.
As mentioned there will be a gradual lift of current restrictions in line with government data. These are set to take place from Wednesday 13th May 2020. This will allow tradespeople more guidance on how they can work safely during this time.
Advice to workers includes:
Continuing to work from home where possible.
If you cannot work from home, you are encouraged to travel to your workplace (if it is open) in a safe manner, avoiding public transport.
If you cannot avoid public transport, the Government has advised that ‘If you can, wear a face-covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.’
All workplaces that open should follow new guidance given on how to work safely. This guidance covers a number of industries including construction and working in someone else’s home.
In light of this, we have put together the main points for those in construction and those working in someone else’s home. Full information is available on the Government website.
Advice for the construction industry
As construction sites reopen, guidelines have been issued to protect workers and give employers support in the best way to reopen safely. This includes:
Be mindful of changes that can make the working environment safer including (but not limited to) increased cleaning and hand washing, using screens or barriers, back to back working and limiting the number of people workers will interact with.
For more information click here.
Advice for working in other people’s homes
As many tradespeople are working in people’s homes it is important to understand guidance on how to keep yourself and others safe while undertaking work. This includes:
Making arrangements when working in the home of someone who is vulnerable but has not been asked to shield (such as those over 70 or with a health condition) should include no face to face contact, an increase in handwashing and covering the face and mouth. More information on face coverings can be found here in section 6.
Staying in line with the latest guidance such as increased handwashing for 20 seconds, covering your mouth and nose if you need to sneeze or cough and then washing your hands, increased cleaning of tools, communication prior to arrival and maintaining social distancing.
Do you need to wear PPE?
Government advice states that ‘Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside clinical settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.’
In the case that there is a high risk, employers must provide PPE and ensure that it fits properly. You can find more information here in section 6.
As the situation changes we actively encourage our Scheme Providers and Registered Businesses to continue to monitor the situation and stay up to date with Government guidance. We will continue to provide updates on our website and social media pages.
Should you need any support from TrustMark or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org