With new regulations and advice on best practice changing frequently, it’s important that plumbing and heating professionals stay up to date on the latest guidance as lockdown eases. Here are some of our top tips on how to carry out work safely on site, as well as information on the latest regulations that may lead to new opportunities for plumbing and heating installers.
Keep up to date on the latest guidelines for working safely on site
During the lockdown all but essential projects were postponed. And as lockdown eases, many of these projects can get back on track. Plumbing and heating professionals are categorised as key workers, so as long as social distancing is maintained and safe working practices are adopted, you can start building up your pipeline of new projects.
1. Here are some tips on how to be safe when working on customer premises:
- Before going back on site, it’s crucial that you communicate with customers on how you’ll work safely in and around their homes and business premises.
- You must be certain that you or anyone living in your home has no symptoms of COVID-19 and reassure your customer that this is the case
- Explain to your customers what personal protective equipment (PPE) you’ll be wearing, such as gloves and masks
- Ask if there is a different location in the home or business premises where the customer can stay while the work is being carried out, to minimise contact
2. Once a project is agreed, there are a number of things you can do to stay safe whilst working:
- Disinfect all equipment before and after the visit
- Use your own hand sanitiser
- Wear a mask for the duration of the visit
- Bring your own tea, coffee and water with you
- If you have to speak with the customer directly, it is recommended you stand side to side rather than facing each other, and maintain 1m distance where possible
- Make sure payment is carried out electronically where possible
The UK government is also regularly updating its website with useful information on working safely which you can find here.
New government regulation that offer new opportunities
From September 2020, the Prime Minister’s ‘Build, Build, Build strategy’ will come into action to kick start the construction industry and speed-up building work. Make sure you keep on top of these changing regulations and new projects so that you can take advantage of new plumbing and heating opportunities.
Some of the key changes to be aware of include:
- A wider range of commercial buildings will be allowed to change to residential use without the need for a planning application.
- Builders will no longer need a normal planning application to demolish and rebuild vacant and redundant residential and commercial buildings if they are rebuilt as homes.
- Property owners will be able to build additional space above their properties via a fast track approval process, subject to neighbour consultation.
- More types of commercial premises will have total flexibility to be repurposed through reform of the Use Classes Order, without requiring a planning application and local authority approval. Pubs, libraries, village shops and other types of businesses essential to the lifeblood of communities will not be covered by these flexibilities.
To find out more about this initiative, visit the government’s Build Build Build website
As lockdown eases, RWC is here to help and support you get through these challenging times safely. For the problem solvers, the urgent fixers, the everyday heroes and the truly up against it, we’re with you all the way.