In April 2020 it was confirmed to the Fire Industry Association that within reason, personnel conducting vital fire protection roles are Critical Workers. The letter from the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP Minister of State for Security at the Home Office is attached. Although this was received a while ago now this document it is still as important now as it was then if you travel and are challenged by customers or the authorities.
We recommend that you print the Home Office letter attached and carry it whenever on appropriate business travel along with an up to date general Covid-19 risk assessment document.
Article kindly reproduced with the permission of the FIA.
A Covid-19 risk assessment template is available to Members in the Risk Assessment section in Downloads on this website. It covers typical things to consider when working in a client's premises or facilities to provide them with re-assurance and safe working practices for you and any staff working for you. This is a generic document so you will need to personalise it on a client by client basis and ensure the practices you set are actually followed.
If you are asked for your Covid-19 risk assessment don't be shy to ask the client for theirs, after-all your assessment is based on the processes you know well but you can't foresee your customers potential Covid-19 hazards! Be alert while on site, my experience is that some customers are making grand Covid-19 plans then breaking their own rules! Some by not providing accessible hand washing facilities and/or not ensuring hand washing is carried out upon arrival and before departure, others by simply forgetting and lapsing social distancing!
You will also need to physically demonstrate that you/your technicians are not potentially transmitting infection when handling the clients fire extinguishers, fire blankets, call points, fire panels, etc. Our recommendation is to wipe down equipment before contact with an appropriate antibacterial spray or wipe and again when the service is finished.
This will also apply to disinfecting at the end of the service the outside of the toolbox/bag and all tools that have been handled, before putting them back in the box/bag.
It also makes sense to use disposable nitrile rubber gloves while in the customers facilities, but it is important to know the correct process for removing them to avoid inadvertent self-contamination. It is also sensible to politely decline any offer of tea, coffee, food and other refreshments, we recommend that the technician provides this for them self.
Don't forget to keep clean tissues available at all times to catch that cough or sneeze escaping!