Having reviewed the public instructions issued by the Government, 4site is now operating entirely remotely with all office staff and Advisors working from their homes. In addition to this, all of our Advisors were temporarily pulled from attending any sites last week to allow us adequate time to review and our operational control measures that ensure the continued safety of both our Advisors and the wider public, including the safety of those who reside at the properties we are due to attend.
Many vital services cannot be completed by home-workers, and the operations of Safety Personnel and Risk Managers are no exception to this. In-fact, Risk Assessments form the foundation of the necessary systems that assure public and resident safety is maintained at your managed properties.
To provide further clarity on the Government’s position on this, the FIA recently requested confirmation from James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Security, on the key worker status of some of the aforementioned essential personnel – he replied with;
“Security & fire safety personnel can play a vital role at this time of national challenge. People working in these sectors who are essential to national infrastructure are “Key Workers” for the purposes of the Government’s guidance on COVID-19”
It is important to note that the Government recognises the significance of not completing this type of work and, by designating key worker status, has therefore not compromised one safety aspiration for another.
Furthermore, a statement was released earlier this week by the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) stating that Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) confirmed that;
“Contractors should continue to work on site to ensure the maintenance of buildings for fire safety and sanitation reasons and for cladding remediation works to continue, provided the work is done in accordance with Public Health England guidance.”
With the above in mind, it is highly important for us to protect our operational team as well as any potential residents in the buildings that they visit. To do so, we will be implementing the following steps;
- Our Logistics Team will be asking if there are any staff likely to be on site at the point of booking. If there are, we will ask for them to leave the general vicinity whilst our Advisor completes their crucial evaluation.
- We will be temporarily be putting a hold on carrying out any Fire Door Inspections, so as to avoid any possible contact with residents.
- During this period, we will not meet staff on site to discuss the review of documentation, but ask instead that it is uploaded to our website for review. If you would like any assistance with the uploaded of these documents to the website, please get in touch.
Furthermore, we are going to be ensuring that we are sending our Advisors safely out to sites, and some of the measures we are applying in order to do this include:
- Wearing fresh disposable face masks at each site
- Using antibacterial wipes to wipe down any door or furniture they come into contact with whilst carrying out their Risk Assessments
- Wearing disposable gloves that will be changed at the arrival and leaving of each site
- Practising isolated working; going from their homes to the sites and then back again
- Only attending managed sites where they are unlikely to come into contact with others (since most of our Risk Assessments and Surveys are carried out in the communal areas only, this is usually the case anyway).
Overall, it is vital that, as property professionals, you continue to comply with your legal duties to assess and manage risk at your properties. We have contingencies to maintain the monitoring of safety management at your properties so, please do not compromise the prevalence of one safety routine for the sake of another.
Please do get in touch if you require any further advice or guidance with this.