The Builders Merchants Federation and other industry bodies are backing new guidance to provide reassurance to homeowners to have tradespeople carry out work in and around their homes.
The ‘Work Safe. Safe Work’ campaign has been developed by Trustmark, the only government endorsed quality scheme for tradespeople, with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It comes hot on the heels of the latest Office of National Statistics Survey (ONS) that found less than 4 in 10 (37%) adults would be comfortable to have someone in their home to carry out non-emergency work, and only half of adults (51%) would feel comfortable or very comfortable having someone come into their home to carry out an emergency repair, such as fixing a boiler.
A campaign booklet, which can be downloaded or given to the homeowner before tradespeople visit the property, gives practical advice about what COVID-safety measures should be discussed and carried out before, during and after work is done in and around their home. It also sets out helpful questions to ask, safety actions to take and which party is responsible for each task.
John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “Consumer confidence is pivotal to our industry’s recovery but, as the latest ONS survey shows, many people are still reluctant to have tradespeople in their home. The materials produced by Trustmark provide the guidance and reassurance householders need to feel comfortable when emergency repairs are required and to have the confidence to commission improvement work to their home.
“This is incredibly important not only for the construction industry’s recovery, but also to the UK economy. We fully support the Work Safe. Safe Work campaign and would encourage merchants to spread the word amongst their trades customers who will find it extremely useful to give the Trustmark booklet to householders before work begins.”
Brian Berry, Chief Executiv, esaid: “We completed a survey in late May that found that 50% of Master Builders’ clients were concerned about having tradespeople working in their home due to the coronavirus. It’s important that we learn to manage the risk of the virus and adapt to these ‘new normal’ circumstances. To this end, I strongly support the new guidance published today and the ‘Work Safe. Safe Work’ campaign that aims to communicate clearly and simply what’s expected of all parties and boost consumer confidence. This builds on previous guidance published by the FMB.”
Berry concluded: “The FMB is calling on the Government to support the recovery of the repair and maintenance sector through a national energy efficiency retrofit strategy that will upgrade and improve the nation’s homes, support balanced economic growth, and save jobs. This will only be possible if we are all comfortable inviting builders back into our homes.”
The support shown is also clear in the KBB sector, with Tom Reynolds, Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association stating: “Several of BMA’s members have teams on the road installing bathroom fittings or servicing products, so getting safely back into customers’ homes is crucial. Even for members that don’t provide such services, getting the trade back to work installing products safely to be crucial to the whole sector’s recovery.
“We fully support the ‘Work Safe. Safe Work’ campaign and encourage all KBB businesses to give the booklet to any of their customers before a job is started. It brings clarity and confidence to people when have work done in their homes.”