The Coronavirus crisis has forced plumbers and heating engineers on to the frontline, their skills in demand more than ever before. For workers in the firing line, the number one priority is safety. David Cook, Sales Director at Baxi Heating, offers some practical advice for heating engineers when carrying out essential repairs:
These are strange times, and we are all getting used to a new way of working – indeed a new way of living. With the government reinforcing the importance of hand washing as a way of controlling the spread of COVID-19, it’s vital that people have hot water. So, if they have a problem with their boiler, it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. As essential workers, heating engineers need to be able to carry out this important work while keeping themselves, their colleagues and their customers safe.
Here are some useful guidelines:
If you have any symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, you should not be working and should self-isolate for at least 14 days. When making the appointment with your customer ask if they or anyone else on the premises has any symptoms and/or has received a positive diagnosis for coronavirus. If you feel unsafe to carry out the work, rebook for a later date. It is also a good idea to call on the day of the visit to check that the situation hasn’t changed.
Following government guidance, maintain a safe distance – two metres – from your customers. Take the opportunity to explain what you will be doing when you call and ask that they stay in another room if possible.
It’s a good idea to carry your own soap and a clean towel every day; wash your hands thoroughly before you start work and when you have finished the job. If soap and hot water is not available, use alcohol based hand sanitiser. Anti-bacterial wipes are also a good idea to carry in your tool kit; use them to wipe down the boiler case and controls before you start work.
When you’ve completed the work, use the wipes on all of your equipment before you put it away, then place wipes, disposable gloves etc. into a plastic bag and dispose of it safely at the end of the day.
Finally, avoid sharing a pen or asking your customer to sign a tablet or mobile phone when you’ve finished. If you need a signature, ask your customer to write on a piece of paper, then take a photo of the signature with your phone for your records. We don’t know how long this pandemic will last or how long we will have to work in this new, strange way. But it will end eventually, and our priority is to do all we can to ensure everyone is safe and ready for action when we finally get back to normal.
For further information, check out Baxi’s COVID-19 page: www.baxi.co.uk/trade/covid-19-update