Can I? Can they? Is it essential? Is it safe? In a time fraught with questions, we wanted to give you some clear answers. We dive into if you can still hire trade services for your property and how to do it safely…including an expert interview with Fantastic Services Australia.
Can I still hire trade to work at my home?
Yes! Tradies are considered an essential service. Whilst this isn’t the best time for elective renovations in essential living spaces, you can still undertake construction, home improvement and repairs.
Outdoor trade work is even more straight forward; social separation is easier, there are less high-traffic areas to disinfect afterwards and the open, fresh air lowers risk for the workers, too.
The best part? You’re supporting the livelihoods of these Tradies; it’s the exact same thing as grabbing a take-away from a small cafe, or ordering a delivery from a restaurant that’s lost all their Friday night ‘date night’ business. By hiring trade services, you’re supporting your community to survive these tough times.
How is ModularWalls ensuring their Trade Partners conduct safe installations?
ModularWalls is still operating are normal during these restrictions and we’ve been proud to keep supporting the livelihoods of our Trade Partners.
To ensure everyone’s safety, we’ve informed all our Trade Partners of our updated safety guidelines on how to provide our customers the best, contactless service possible, including:
- Digital communications preferred over face-to-face communications, where possible
- Trade to use digital brochures and invoices over printed versions
- If speaking with each other on site, avoid physical greetings, keep a minimum 1.5m apart and preferably talk through fly screens or other physical barriers
- Trade to avoid entering the house for any reason
- Homeowners to stay inside whilst Trade Partners are outside
- Trade to limit number of team members on site, if possible
- Trade and homeowners to respect any boundaries or requests each may have, in regards to distancing or disinfecting
- Disinfect hands, tools and high-touch vehicle parts after each property
- Homeowners to disinfect high traffic or high touch areas after Trade leave for the day
- Practice good hygiene at all times
- Adopt extra protective equipment, such as face masks or gloves, if required
Expert advice from Fantastic Services Australia
To get some expert advice on the matter, we spoke with Jane Wilson, a home improvement expert for Fantastic Services Australia. The company offers more than 25 home and garden services to Australian customers since 2010, taking pride in their philosophy of providing happiness to all customers, employees and partners.
Recently, they undertook extensive training to receive an Infection Control Training Certificate from the Australian Government Department of Health; so we picked their brains about ways to protect the health & safety of tradies and homeowners alike!
Q. So, why was it important to you to receive an Infection Control Training Certificate?
Jane: Fantastic Services is a well-known name on the local market for cleaning and sanitisation services. Our customers are the most important to us and we do our best to help residents and local businesses in Australia.
The entire world is changing and we always make sure that we’re on top of any situation. We undertook the Infection Control Training to assure all partners and franchisees are well informed and continue to provide professional, SAFE service.
Safety is extremely important for both sides — both the team and each client.
Q. As a service provider, how have you ensured that trades are being safe amidst COVID-19?
Jane: To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we’ve initiated a range of measures, including:
- All our services are carried by technicians that have not traveled outside of Australia in the last couple of months and do not show any symptoms of being sick.
- Employees monitor temperature and condition daily, to ensure they are in good health.
- We fully equip employees with protective gloves and masks.
- All surfaces around our offices and the vehicles are being disinfected every couple of hours, and the access to the premises is currently limited for outside people.
- We make sure all our tradies have the necessary safety supplies and each vehicle is fully supplied with both recyclable and disposable hygiene products.
Q. As a homeowner hiring a Trade service, what precautions would you suggest to them to stay safe?
Jane: It’s important to keep your home or office clean and disinfected. Pay extra attention to cleaning:
- High traffic areas — doorknobs, door/drawer handles, light switches, worktops, table tops, key-holders/keys
- Appliances — fridge, microwave, oven, dishwasher, remote control, intercom, air con control panel, doorbell
- Bathroom and kitchen — taps, toilet seat and toilet flush, handrails, doorknobs
We encourage people to deep clean their homes and focus on high-traffic areas and often touched places with detergents that kill bacteria. Since cleaning and disinfection play a pivotal role in controlling the Covid 19 outbreak, this has prompted EPA to release a list of disinfectants to the public, to help people choose the right detergents to keep their homes safe.
As a result of the quick spread of coronavirus and as an extra precaution for our clients, we also developed an antiviral sanitisation service. The services are performed with industry-approved disinfectants that kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria. The Antivirus Sanitisation/Disinfection is carried out by 2 cleaners who have passed the course and received an Infection Control Training Certificate from the Australian Government Department of Health, as well as practical training on how to provide the service.
Keep in mind that the service can only kill the virus from surfaces; it won’t work if there are sick people in your house or you’ve been in contact with people with symptoms.
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Q. As a tradie, what precautions would you suggest to them to stay safe amidst COVID -19?
Jane: We recommend them following the World Health Organization guidelines. Wash your hands regularly, wear protective gear on properties and avoid unnecessary social contact.
You need all of it; not just because of the standard, but because the standard is established to protect you and your team! Have in mind that the virus could be in people that have no obvious symptoms and might not even get sick; you need to protect yourself and your team at all times.
Furthermore, you also show the client that you respect their safety, you are in control of the situation and that you can be trusted to provide a safe, responsible service in their home.