NEW guidelines over what work tradespeople can carry out have been issued to help keep households in Shropshire safe.

The updated advice from the government outlines the precautions homeowners may see professional tradespeople take when visiting their homes to provide heating, plumbing or maintenance services.

The guidance has been welcomed by OFTEC, the registration body for off-grid heating work, which has put together a checklist for consumers so they know the precautions workers may take and the standards they should expect from professionals.

Households must continue to follow two metre social distancing rules and work must not be carried out if either the tradesperson or any occupants display COVID-19 symptoms, or where an individual has been advised to shield - unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household.

The additional measures tradespeople may take include:

· Communicating with households prior to arrival to ensure social distancing and hygiene measures are clearly understood and followed before work commences

· Wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and regularly washing their hands

· Holding any conversations outdoors or in a well-ventilated room

· Arranging methods of safely disposing of any waste with the householder

· Not sharing pens, paper or other items and declining refreshments

Households in Shropshire can also help to keep both themselves and tradespeople safe by keeping surfaces and rooms where tradespeople are working clean and ventilated.

By not entering the room while work is being carried out unless absolutely necessary and clearly outlining the work required, providing photos if possible for the tradesperson before arrival to reduce the amount of time they need to spend in the home, among other things.

Malcolm Farrow of OFTEC, said: “As the government slowly starts to ease some of the lockdown measures, more tradespeople will be working in peoples’ homes across Shropshire.

"As long as the new guidelines are carefully observed, consumers should feel safe having heating technicians, plumbers and other professionals in their home.

“We can all help make things easier by accommodating the new rules tradespeople are following and raise any issues or concerns before the work begins.

"Households must remember to continue to follow the two metre social distancing rules and it’s vital that no work is undertaken if either the tradesperson or someone living in the house is showing any COVID-19 symptoms.

“For the households in Shropshire who need to have work completed on their heating system, always ensure you use a GasSafe, for mains gas, or OFTEC, for oil heating and solid fuel, registered technician as they are fully qualified and all follow strict safety guidelines.”