Date published: July 23, 2020
As we’re coming out of the coronavirus lockdown, property maintenance is back on the agenda. Defer it and you risk your property falling into disrepair. Your maintenance costs will be higher in the future. Poorly maintained buildings are poorly protected investments. Most important of all, you put the health and safety of residents, staff, and visitors to the property at risk.
We also understand how concerned you are about the health and safety of residents when property maintenance is being carried out during coronavirus. Which is why we’ve written this article.
We want to explain – as briefly as possible – the extra measures and steps we’ve put in place for coronavirus. Actions to make sure the health and safety of your residents and staff is our number one priority when we carry out property maintenance during coronavirus.
First, we understand that we’re in a fluid situation. The coronavirus rules and regs seem to change more often than the weather. That’s why we’ll be in constant contact with you as we approach maintenance work. We’ll alert you to any major changes to COVID-19 working practices and guidelines that may impact how we work.
The best way we can maintain your property and the health and safety of residents is to work together, sharing expertise, experience, and knowledge.
There are strict measures that must be taken when working at properties with vulnerable residents. So, we’ll ask about these – older residents, those with existing health conditions, breathing problems, etc.
We keep our employees updated with the latest guidance on working safely in and around people’s homes, and we ensure that they use the correct PPE always. If residents are shielding or self-isolating, we’ll rearrange work to be done (unless there is a direct risk to their health and safety if the work is not carried out immediately – in which case we’ll take extra measures to ensure health and safety during maintenance work).
Whenever it is practical to do so, we’ll call ahead on the day property maintenance work is taking place. We’ll check if residents have symptoms or are self-isolating, and make sure that it’s still good to go ahead with scheduled work.
Our maintenance team may look like they have prepared for a day trip to Mars. You can expect them to be wearing all the required PPE. Depending upon the job and its location, this may include gloves, facemasks, and suits. If we look like spacemen, it’s because we’re going above and beyond on our PPE.
You’ll notice that our team are a little further apart from each other than normal. That’s because we will be operating to at least the current government regulations on social distancing, and often beyond them. Residents may notice our team are a little noisier because of this – it’s hard to communicate in whispers from a couple of metres away.
Our property maintenance employees (in fact, all our staff) have never had such clean hands! They carry hand sanitiser with them to every job, and use it regularly throughout the day.
Another change that will be very noticeable is our no-contact policy. The maintenance team won’t be shaking hands or sharing a quick joke with residents. It’s not because they have been instructed to be stand-offish. They will still be their friendly selves, but from a distance.
The offer of a cup of tea will be kindly rejected, and, if a job needs to be confirmed as complete, we won’t ask you to sign anything – we will complete the paperwork.
As an extra precaution, and to ensure we meet with social distancing regulations, if we are working in residents’ homes, those residents must be in a separate room away from the room in which maintenance work is being carried out. Our maintenance operatives won’t enter other rooms except the ones in which they are working.
Whether working internally or externally, you can expect the area to be fully cleaned and free from any tools or other materials at the end of each day. Clean, sanitised conditions are not restricted to hands.
Taking those first steps back to normality is difficult. We understand that by working together with our clients across the spectrum of environments we can do what is most needed – ensure the safety of residents, employees (yours and ours), visitors and others while property maintenance is being carried out.
You can read more about our new normal working procedures in our manual ‘Site Operating Procedures During Coronavirus Pandemic’.
When you use Hankinson Whittle for your programmed maintenance, you can be sure of a partnership in health and safety as well as benefitting from the highest standards in property maintenance work. To find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us today.