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How we manage the risk – click to see our detailed Coronavirus safety measures – and further to government rules, from 24th July please remember to bring a face covering when you visit the showroom

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Our Coronavirus safety measures

Ross Halliday

Our Coronavirus safety measures

Our Coronavirus safety measures

As we hope our Coronavirus planning updates show, we took the threat of Coronavirus very seriously.  As soon as the danger became evident in late February we constantly reviewed our protocols in the expectation that a business closure would be required. And, as a result, we closed our showroom prior to the government lockdown. So, as we now gradually reopen our business, we felt it important to set out our Coronavirus safety measures that have been agreed to manage the risk in this new world of work.

Since lockdown, we’ve received a regular stream of inquiries from potential clients about updating their kitchens.  Obviously we’ve been unable to attend site but our setting up of a video-conferencing appointments has proved popular.  But, we have a showroom for a reason! So, planning our return to work – including re-opening the showroom following the latest government advice – we remain conscious of the need to keep all our stakeholders safe and reducing the risk of spreading it.  This includes existing clients, employees and contractors, delivery drivers, and visitors to the showroom among others.

Why only now?

Many of our competitors chose to reopen before the government’s indicated date for the reopening of non-essential shops of 1st June.  We decided to keep our showroom closed until we were able to fully implement the changes we wanted to make in order to keep everybody entering our premises and onsite at clients’ homes, as safe as possible.  We’ve written detailed risk assessments and created new protocols. We review these protocols – currently daily – as new information becomes available and new ideas are incorporated.  The views and suggestions of readers of this blog are very welcome via info@nicholashythe.co.uk

Our Coronavirus safety measures in the showroom

  • We trained – and continue to retrain as government advice is updated – all employees prior to their return to work
  • Created a waiting area where hand sanitiser has been provided for use
  • Limit the number of clients entering the showroom. Invite those without an appointment  back at a later time/different day
  • Deny entry to uninvited visitors (eg supplier reps/delivery drivers)
  • Check and confirm daily that no employees are exhibiting any symptoms that may potentially be caused by Coronavirus
  • Discretely confirm that clients are not exhibiting any symptoms that may potentially be caused by Coronavirus
  • Discretely confirm whether the clients have any symptoms currently or are classified as ‘clinically vulnerable’. If the answer is yes, we will book a private appointment
  • We’ll maintain frequent antibacterial cleaning routines, particularly in ‘high touch’ areas
  • We will clean all areas visited, used or items touched or handled after each customer visit
  • We’ll wear personal protective equipment at the client’s request
  • We will have installed a new workstation area to maximise the distance between our employees
  • Limit the number of employees in the showroom to a maximum of three
  • Client presentations will be in the cordoned off exclusive presentation area.  We will use the large screen TV which allows employees and clients to adhere to social distancing rules
  • Request that clients’ children adhere to social distancing rules and ask parents have their children limit what they touch
  • Increased social distancing reminder signage throughout the showroom
  • Employees will make only their own drinks

Face coverings

As of 24th July, the government has mandated that people entering shops must wear a face covering or risk a fine of £100.  There is no distinction in the current guidance about shops with high visitor numbers and those such as ours which offer appointment only visits. We are therefore required to ask that all visitors, unless they have an exemption certificate, wear a face covering whilst inside our premises. Those who may be able to obtain an exemption certificate include the following:

  • People who have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means that they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • People who, if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering, would cause them severe distress
  • People who are providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • People who need to eat, drink, or take medication may remove their face covering to do so

We would therefore ask that unless you have an exemption certificate that you remember to bring a face covering with you to any appointments in the showroom

Our Coronavirus safety measures in clients’ homes whilst renovations are underway

Our second area of review was around working in clients’ homes.  We have therefore paid particular attention to how we may provide clients and our own team members with the confidence that the job may be undertaken with minimal risk.  So, we’ve created the following protocols for use by all members of the Nicholas Hythe team:

What clients may expect from NH employees and contractors working onsite:

Checking beforehand

  • That prior to attending their home for the first time, we will confirm whether anybody in their household is self-isolating, shielding or deemed clinically vulnerable
  • At each visit we will confirm that we are not exhibiting any symptoms that may potentially be caused by Coronavirus.

Remaining Socially Distant

  • Upon arrival, we will stand at least 2m from the entrance and wait for the client to retire to at least 2m before entering
  • If available, agree the use of a secondary, less used entrance
  • We will remain at least 2m from everyone on site – including clients and other contractors – at all times
  • No employee will share a vehicle with another employee or contractor.  Contractors from different households who need to share a vehicle will wear face coverings and keep all windows open
  • Those deliveries which need two-person handling and where 2m can’t be maintained, face coverings and gloves will be worn

Preventing spread 

  • We’ll wear personal protective equipment (PPE) during interactions with the client if social distancing can’t be maintained
  • We’ll wear PPE elsewhere in the home other than the immediate work area if social distancing isn’t possible.  For example, when going to their van, using the toilet
  • Internal doors that allow access to the work area will be kept shut.  Weather depending, external windows and doors will be left open for maximum ventilation
  • We’ll use hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes regularly throughout the day.
  • We will sanitise the working area and all equipment used once each contractor’s finished and at the end of each day
  • We’ll wear latex gloves throughout the survey and installation where practically possible and remove them from site daily
  • We will supply our own drinks and food, mugs, kettle etc
  • NH has provided additional branded work wear so that it may be changed and washed daily

What we ask of clients remaining onsite during the renovations:

Of course, every person is also a potential spreader of Coronavirus, whether they exhibit symptoms or not.  So, we now also ask clients to follow the protocols below in order to keep our team safe:

  • People entering the house adhere to current government regulations and don’t enter the work area
  • Daily, they confirm to all attending contractors that they are not exhibiting any symptoms that may potentially be caused by Coronavirus
  • They enter the room only once the required 2m gap is created
  • Children and vulnerable people (for example, any disabled family members) do not enter the room and that they understand – as far as is possible – the 2m rule
  • They clear the working area of any personal objects that they may need during the day including kettle and cups
  • They are happy that our team may use the nearest toilet and be able to wash their hands.  Our team members will use antibacterial wipes to wipe down any surfaces they touch (for example, toilet flush, taps, light switch).
  • We ask that update meetings with team members not present are held over the ‘phone or via video-conference

Inspired?

We hope that that these safety measures allow you to feel confident about dealing with us.  If you’re ready to commence the process of renovating your kitchen please see the other questions you should be asking yourself and start looking for inspiration.  Advice and design ideas are found all over the Web, including Nicholas Hythe, Pinterest, Houzz and many others. And, when you’re ready, feel free to book an appointment with us, either by visiting the showroom from 1st June or request an initial call here