Staying safe during Covid-19: Tips for tradespeople

During the current Covid-19 pandemic, practising good health and hygiene has been crucial for keeping ourselves and those we work with safe.

While the government has provided a wealth of practical information and guidance for every sector, there are some simple steps that tradespeople can take to ensure they minimise the risk of transmission while they’re on the job.

Communicate with your customers

Lots of people are nervous right now so if you’re going to be working in someone’s home, make sure you keep in touch with them and offer reassurance that you’ll be working to keep them safe.

Highlight any precautions you’ll be taking, for example how you’ll maintain a 2-metre distance and agree on the work you’ll undertake before you turn up. There are also things that customers can do to prepare the space you’ll be working in, such as shifting furniture and removing pictures, that can also help to minimise contact.

Take a health check

If you’ll be working in a home with a vulnerable person, for example, someone that’s over 70 years of age, or someone with an underlying health condition, discuss how you can avoid any unnecessary face-to-face contact when you arrive by asking someone else to answer the door or ensuring they stay in a different room. Showing that you care about them personally, in addition to doing a good job professionally, is far more likely to result in repeat business for you. It’s a win-win.

Make sure that everyone you’ll be working with in the household is healthy and that they aren’t shielding, self-isolating, or displaying Covid-19 symptoms. If you or any of your family become unwell with symptoms delay your work and seek government advice.

Stay protected

Minimise the amount of customer contact by taking your own drinks and food with you and ensure you have a supply of tissues to cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze. It’s a good idea to take a bin bag with you so you can take any rubbish with you when you leave.

Always take hand sanitiser to use on the job and regularly wash your hands, for a minimum of 20 seconds, as regularly as possible. PPE is always a good idea to protect you and those you work with so invest in good-quality gloves and masks.

Practice good van hygiene

Always clean your hands when you enter and leave your van. Keep antibacterial wipes on standby too and give all the touchpoints a thorough clean at the end of the day; door handles, steering wheel, switches and buttons are all high contact areas are worth paying attention to particularly if more than one person has use of the vehicle. The same goes for your tools, which can bring germs into your van if they aren’t cleaned between jobs.

If you usually transport work colleagues to and from a job, you need to maintain social distancing at all times and wear masks. Where possible, minimise the number of people you carry in your van to reduce the risk of spreading germs.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the government website for the latest information on working during the pandemic – and stay safe!