BAFE offers guidance to fire practitioners on removal of COVID restrictions
13 July 2021
IN THE coming weeks, further restrictions regarding COVID safety may be reduced or completely removed following assessments by Government across the nation. This has important implications for fire safety service providers/contractors, including the need to review their own COVID safety policies in the interests of employee and client safety.
BAFE has offered the following guidance for fire sector professionals when it comes to the removal or reduction of restrictions:
*Continue to exercise a risk-based approach prior to visiting a site to perform work. What’s the current policy of your client? What requirements are they expecting you to follow when on-site? Do they require evidence of negative rapid lateral flow tests for technicians/engineers? What would you like them to do in helping to reduce any risk of possible transmission to your employees?
*Continue to wear a mask, and especially so when indoors in areas with limited ventilation and/or a high capacity of people within the space available. The World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to recommend mask wearing “as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives”.
In a Government note to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, published guidance will advise that wearing a face covering will reduce your risk, and the risk posed to others, where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
*Consider contacting clients with buildings that may require provisions for/system maintenance visits prior to opening at full capacity. The last thing any business would like at this time is failure of any fire safety provisions in place causing disruption. Are any maintenance visits overdue? Help premises/business management to be confident that they can now operate ‘as normal’ knowing they’ve exercised due diligence with their fire safety responsibilities.
BAFE trusts that all of the organisation’s registered companies will continue to exercise good judgment to keep employees, clients and other people whom their members of staff may encounter safe. This includes the now habitual acts of washing/sanitising hands regularly, keeping rooms well ventilated, wearing masks on-site around others and, as pointed out by the Government, “staying at home if unwell to reduce the risk of passing on other illnesses to friends, family, colleagues and others in the community”.
Rules vary between each country in the UK. As we begin the roadmap back to a relatively ‘normal’ environment, BAFE strongly recommends companies to continue to review their own risk assessments concerning COVID-19 safety when guidance is updated by the appropriate Government.
Government COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 (published 5.7.21)
WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Advice for the Public (1/7/21)