COVID-19: How can installers stay safe?

Worker wearing hardhat and staying safe

Whether it’s being called out to a plumbing and heating emergency or needing to fast track installation of water infrastructure in a household or crucial building, installers are key workers that play an essential role in keeping water flowing and heating systems safe in homes and businesses.

As the COVID-19 crisis further develops, it is crucial that installers keep themselves and their customers protected and safe while carrying out essential work on site.

So, wherever your work takes you over the coming weeks, we’re here with you all the way. Below are some of our top tips on how to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic:

Check if it’s safe to carry out a visit

During the lockdown period, only essential jobs should be conducted, wait for the lockdown to be over for any non-essential work to be carried out. If the job is critical, make sure the home you are visiting doesn’t have residents in quarantine. It’s best practice to call your customer on the day of the visit to check if they or any occupants have:

  • travelled from abroad in the last 14 days
  • showed symptoms of the virus
  • diagnosed positive for the virus
  • or have been asked to self-isolate

It is also good practice to reassure them about your status and check that they are comfortable with your visit to take place. It may also be useful to carry a letter outlining that the current government guidelines permit you to work in case you need to show it to customers, suppliers or the police. The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors have put together a handy template that can be downloaded from their website.

Be flexible with rescheduling

Customers may want to cancel or reschedule visits in these unprecedented times, so it is a good idea to review your terms and conditions and be more flexible in accommodating their requests.

These are exceptional circumstances, and the plumbing and heating trade needs to come together to deal with customer needs on a case by case basis.

Practice social distancing

If you have to visit a site for critical jobs, please follow government guidance around social distancing.

  • Stay 2 metres apart from anyone in the household
  • Wear a mask and gloves while completing the job
  • Don’t touch your face or eyes
  • Resist the offer for tea, coffee or water – carry your own drinks
  • Ask if the residents could wait in another room to help reduce any contact
  • Try to avoid taking payment in cash and adopt contactless payment methods

Wash your hands!

Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, at the start, finish and during the job as and when appropriate. It’s good practice to bring your own towel and make sure you wash it at the end of the day. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol.

washing hands for covid safety

Clean your working space when you leave

Wipe down all surfaces and equipment used preferably with antibacterial wipes. You should also bag any rubbish and packaging used, and safely dispose it to avoid cross-contamination in line with government guidance.

Keep your family safe

When you get home after a job, try not to come into contact with any family members or surfaces before washing your hands. If possible, it is also a good idea to change your clothes, put them in the washing and take a shower, to avoid the risk of spreading the virus.

For any further questions about how you can protect yourself, you can visit the World Health Organization’s website here.

For the problem solvers, the urgent fixers, the everyday heroes and the truly up against it, we’re with you all the way.

Lee Halstead Headshot

Lee Halstead

Technical Sales Engineer - JG Speedfit/Reliance/SharkBite & JG Underfloor

About the author

As a seasoned professional in plumbing and heating, having earned City and Guilds Plumbing Craft and Advanced Craft certifications in 1991, I have dedicated myself to mastering the craft.

For over two decades, I operated as a self-employed plumbing and heating engineer, serving both residential and new build sectors.

In 2015, I transitioned into the role of a Technical Sales Engineer with RWC. In this capacity, I have leveraged my extensive field experience and technical knowledge to provide invaluable support and build strong relationships with customers. As a spokesperson for RWC, I am thrilled to share my expertise and promote the cutting-edge products and services we offer in the plumbing and heating industry.