Lockdown has been eased slightly this week, with groups of people now able to meet outdoors and some schools reopening, allowing more of the UK to get back work. Great, but if you’ve been in relative isolation for the last 10 weeks the thought of re-entering the big wide world can actually be quite stressful and daunting, however much we might want ‘normal service’ to resume.
What’s important at this time is rational thought and safety. Panic and stress are not good for your mental health and if you’re not in an ‘at risk’ category, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t dip a cautious toe in the water.
From a work point of view, the building services engineering sector is at an advantage, isolation is fairly easy for most jobs and those that get back on the horse now, may be able to pip some of their competitors to the post.
There’s work out there, with customers desperate to get tradespeople back in their homes.
What are the risks?
Invisible and leaving some people completely unaware that they’ve got the virus, COVID 19 can be seen as a very real and present threat. While it is undoubtedly dangerous, there are ways to prevent its spread and it’s important to put it into context.
COVID 19 is unlikely to ‘disappear’ so we have to learn to live with it or the fall-out will be worse than the virus itself.
This article from the BBC, ‘Coronavirus: How scared should we be?’ is quite useful.
The article states that we cannot continue restrictions until safety is guaranteed; safety in life is never guaranteed. Locking down forever will do more harm than good, causing other health issues, mental illness, financial hardship and damage to education. Whatever you think of the way the COVID 19 crisis has been handled, we have to move on in some way or another.
Prof Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at Edinburgh University, says the question we should be asking is whether we are “safe enough”.
“There will never be no risk. In a world where Covid-19 remains present in the community it’s about how we reduce that risk, just as we do with other kinds of daily dangers, like driving and cycling.”
How much risk do you face?
Data published last week by the Office for National Statistics suggests that outside of hospitals and care homes, about one in 400 people is currently infected with COVID 19 (and hopefully falling). The chances of coming into contact with one of these people, particularly if social distancing is maintained, is pretty slim.
Some jobs are clearly higher risk than others. Sole traders usually fall into the lower risk category, even indoors – there’s no need to have much contact with the customer and many jobs are solitary, or people can work together while maintaining social distancing.
Even if you do contract coronavirus, for most people it is a mild to moderate illness. Only one in 20 people need hospital treatment and some have no symptoms at all.
If you have no pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or heart problems, deaths among the under-65s is very uncommon. In fact, COVID 19 has not increased the risk of dying for this group. If your risk of dying was very low in the first place, it still remains very low.
How much risk do you pose to other people?
Not spreading coronavirus is not that difficult! If you show any symptoms stay at home – everyone is now eligible to testing under the government’s new Track and Trace scheme.
Maintain social distancing, wash your hands and avoid crowded places, particularly indoors. If you can’t keep far enough away from your fellow humans, wear a mask.
Be safe at work
Worcester Bosch has launched a campaign called ‘Safe in Your Home’, designed to help installers reassure their customers that they can safely work in their properties.
Worcester Bosch installers are being encourage to pledge its ‘Safe in your home commitment’. The boiler manufacturer is providing information and communication tools to give tradespeople and their customers confidence to safely carry out work in people’s homes.
Every installer who pledges will receive a digital pack, so you can let customers know on
your website that you’re pledged to the scheme. The first 5,000 signed up will also receive a van sticker and signage.
The pack covers safety and guidance which you can email to customers prior to arriving at their home, including a checklist, such as ventilating working areas, cleaning objects and surfaces regularly and taking your own refreshments (no cups of tea for a while!)
Train safe too!
With coronavirus dominating every aspect of our lives, it’s easy to forget the other essential safety precautions we need to take to work safely. Gas installers must keep their Gas ACS up to date where possible. We’re still offering Gas ACS re-assessment and refresher training, with some elements now available online.
The gas ACS re-assessment is mainly paper based so it’s easy to keep you safe in our classrooms, sticking to government social distancing guidelines.
If you need refresher training, we’re doing this bit ‘virtually’. You get the support and guidance of one of our trainers but from the comfort of your own home.
Contact us for more information.
- Heating & Plumbing Engineers – you’re Eligible For COVID-19 Testing
- Gas installers – keep your ACS up to date during COVID 19 lockdown
- Gas Engineer Information During COVID-19
- How do I Train to be a Gas Engineer?
- How Long Does It Take to Be a Gas Engineer?