The builder should undertake a risk assessment of the situation, including any concerns from workers and clients. It is vital that the risk involved in each job is assessed, and that key considerations around health and welfare are the primary concerns for any work you undertake.
Builders and clients should communicate as much as possible via phone, email and video call, in order to minimise face to face contact, including any signing of documents or provision of certificates.
Note that sharing mobile phones/tablets/pens etc may risk infection.
No work should be carried out in households which are self-isolating, are shielded, or are showing Coronavirus symptoms unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the household, such as emergency plumbing, heating or electrical repairs, or other safety risk, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so, taking all possible precautions.
No work should be carried out by any tradesperson who is showing Coronavirus symptoms, however mild.
Call ahead on the day to check that no one in the household has started to show symptoms of the virus, has been diagnosed or is self-isolating.
Remember not to shake hands, this is often instinctive.
If the part of the home that the builders are working in can be divided off from the rest of the house, leaving the clients in residence with sufficient kitchen and bathroom facilities, this will enable any emergency work to be carried out whilst still observing social distancing. Where this is not possible, residents should stay in a different room with the door closed.
Separate washing facilities and refreshment stations should also be arranged where possible.
Whilst on site, continue to follow the advice on frequent hand-washing when not wearing gloves, using hand sanitiser and not touching the face.
Tools must not be shared between workers. Under no circumstances should PPE, including facemasks be shared.
Workers should take their breaks separately, for example eating lunch in their own vehicles or well away from each other. Consider staggered break times.
Workers should not travel together to site in the same vehicle, and should avoid public transport. If this is not possible then they will not be able to work.
Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as facemasks, gloves and safety glasses, can be extended to cover all of the time on site, rather than only the time when they are necessary during dust-producing tasks for example. Disposable equipment should be used if at all possible. The HSE has issued advice on using PPE to avoid transmission of Coronavirus.
Good housekeeping and keeping a safe, tidy site is even more important than usual. Tools and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected, at the start and finish of any job, and all materials left tidily. There is information on the Government website about cleaning workspaces, but nothing specific to construction sites.
If at any time a worker on site feels unsafe, they should assess how to leave whatever they are working on in a safe state, contact their employer, and leave the site. Employers should make sure that any operatives going to a site to carry out emergency work are aware of this.
Any clothing worn on site should be changed as soon as you get home and washed so as not to harbour viruses. Any re-useable PPE (e.g. safety glasses) should be washed. Any wipes, disposable gloves etc should be bagged up and disposed of in accordance with local waste regulations.