Following the news of the latest lockdown, plumbing and heating engineers must continue to prioritise personal and public safety, says the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE).
Tim Sainty, membership director at the CIPHE, explains that while plumbing and heating engineers are permitted to work throughout the lockdown period, it is especially important to remain vigilant at this time to continue to protect the health of professionals and customers when completing essential plumbing and heating works.
“The advice from the CIPHE mirrors government guidance and remains largely the same as at the start of the pandemic. We are supportive of the fact that plumbing and heating repairs and maintenance work can continue, provided that the tradesperson and customer is well and has no coronavirus symptoms. Do check with clients that they do not have a positive diagnosis, are not self-isolating, or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, before attending the premises. Even if everyone in the household is healthy, social distancing is still essential and we reiterate that Public Health England guidelines for maintaining social distancing, with a 2-metre distance from any household occupants, should be upheld. The wearing of a face covering indoors when working and regular 20-second handwashing is also advised.”
“Works should not be carried out in any household isolating due to coronavirus, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as life threatening or other emergency plumbing or repairs. Guidance should be provided to the household to ensure that no contact is made between the engineer and the occupants. This can be achieved by doors being left open and the household staying in a separate part of the home while work is carried out. Windows should also be opened to promote good ventilation, which according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reduces the concentration of the virus in the air and therefore reduces the risks from airborne transmission.”
“Engineers can choose not to work if they feel it may be unsafe and ultimately this is at the discretion of the individual. Following the Government regulations remains essential and more advice is available to tradespeople and households from Public Health England.”