October 12, 2020
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 13
The British Institute of KBB Installation (BiKBBI) has issued updated guidelines for tradespeople who may be confused about what they can and cannot do when working in people’s homes
It has also said that it believes the latest Government announcement on Tuesday, October 13, of a three-tiered strategy to suppress the spread of coronavirus does not affect the guidelines detailed below. Installations in people’s homes, said the BiKBBI, can continue regardless of geography, provided they are carried out in accordance with government guidance, although it added that it has asked Government for “swift clarification”.
The BiKBBI has issued the guidance update in the light of what it calls “mixed messaging” from devolved governments, confusion surrounding regional lockdowns and an “overload of coronavirus-related information”.
The recommendations state that the advice from the BiKBBI is clear and should be adopted in addition to guidance already provided by the Government to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and the risk of future litigation.
It breaks its advice down into nine categories: local lockdowns, common sense, symptoms, risk assessments, site cleanliness, face coverings, social distancing, increased ventilation and track and trace.
The BiKBBI points out that there is currently no national requirement to stop home-improvement work during lockdowns, but suggests checking with local authorities about any restrictions on local movements.
The update also advises assessing if you should be doing a job at all and whether there is a better, safer way. It advises tradespeople to reduce touch points and movement, thereby reducing risk.
The BiKBBI also emphasises that if any tradespeople, contractors, or any householders they are in contact with are showing symptoms of Covid-19, work should not start or continue. It advises calling ahead of time to ensure all parties involved are symptom-free before attending the job.
The update also points out that it is mandatory to complete a risk assessment for each project and any existing assessments should be reviewed for each project. It says that the Government website has links to all country variations. The BiKBBI confirms that generally businesses that employ the services of more than five people need to complete a written risk assessment, but it advises that all businesses, regardless of size, should complete one.
Cleanliness, adds the BiKBBI, is also critical and it suggests disinfecting all tools and surfaces. It also says that the site should be regularly cleared, before, during and after work. It advises the use of face coverings and compliance with social distancing guidelines. It also recommends that tradespeople ask customers to keep away during renovations and that communication is done by phones or similar technology.
If different trades are involved on a project, the BiKBBI says it is good practice to stagger their attendance on-site. It also suggests that workers should keep external doors and windows open, even in winter months, so as to increase ventilation on-site. At the same time, internal doors should be closed and sealed so as not to affect the rest of the home.
Finally, the update also suggests that tradespeople should make use of the track and trace system. They can generate a free QR code from the government website. Occupants and visitors can then download the NHS app and check in each time they visit the home.
BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters discusses the latest guidelines for installers working in people’s homes on the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast. Click on the player to listen now or search ‘kbbreview’ in your podcast app of choice.
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