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How do I keep safe when forced to have workmen in home

(32 Posts)
rowyn Fri 20-Mar-20 11:31:57

I am having a new boiler fitted next Tuesday by 2 workmen who have been looking after my CH for 20 years. No choice, they came to look at my leaking !4 year old one this morning and it's very ill.

How do I protect myself? They will be mostly in the kitchen and garage but will have to check radiators all round the house, I suspect. I know they will say they'll be careful, but it will be so easy to do something silly.

Obviously I will wipe surfaces when they've finished but it will also be so easy to miss some. Thinking of using diluted Detto, or should it be diluted bleach?
I suppose I just have to take the risk.

Luckygirl Fri 20-Mar-20 11:36:43

Do you have any rubber gloves? Issue them to the workers and ask them to wear them at all times. You can then wash the rubber gloves by putting them on your hands and washing your hands in dettol or simply soap and water.

Go out while they are there and when you return open the windows to let any bugs out; and wipe down surfaces, door handles and radiator thermostats. Use detergent on the cloth if you do not have Dettol or bleach.

All you can do is to take these sensible precautions and keep fingers crossed.

Welshwife Fri 20-Mar-20 11:56:01

Lots of plumbers have disposable gloves that they use as routine these days.

ElaineI Fri 20-Mar-20 12:51:25

And try to keep 6 feet away from them if talking to them.

Wilma65 Sat 21-Mar-20 09:12:57

Wearing gloves might not help because it’s droplets in the air that spread the virus. Best to wipe everything down with a mild solution of bleach

vampirequeen Sat 21-Mar-20 09:20:19

How close do you get to your workmen? I'm hearing very bad 70s music and visualising a sleazy looking plumber who's barely wearing a pair of overalls asking where he can stick his plunger grin

We had workers in last week. They kept their distance and we kept ours. Most of the time they wore gloves. Octopus have told me that when the leccy man comes in a couple of weeks time to change my meter, he'll also be wearing gloves.

Don't worry too much. Builders seem to be taking their own precautions.

sweetcakes Sat 21-Mar-20 09:20:43

This morning TV last week,
15 ml domestos or other good strong bleach add to 500ml water put into a spray pump like a empty flash bottle and use. As you say you've got no choice but give yourself space and clean after.

vampirequeen Sat 21-Mar-20 09:25:19

They reckon the bug lives for about 9 hours on hard surfaces so as long as you don't touch the boiler or pipes until the next day you'll be ok. The only problem area is the thermostat but you can solve that by giving it a quick bleachy wipe over.

Jaylm Sat 21-Mar-20 09:30:02

Thanks for the giggle Vampirequeen, much needed at the moment

polnan Sat 21-Mar-20 09:38:23

workmen? oh gosh so glad you posted this.. I want a little job done in my garden, but ds suggests I shouldn`t have it done yet as I am in the self isolation group...

wow.. that means I could have a job or two outside jobs,, done?

Sussexborn Sat 21-Mar-20 09:42:18

This came through from a site I use. I am sure all in the industry will be receiving similar guidelines. Not sure if rubber gloves would make it difficult for twiddly bits like screws but surgical or disposable might be ok if you have some. The freezing cold nights are probably as dangerous as the virus. At least you know these plumbers so you know that you can trust them:-

MyBuilder’s aim is to help homeowners find great tradespeople, and that hasn’t changed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. We understand that some jobs, whether it’s fixing a broken boiler or repairing faulty wiring, have to be done as a matter of urgency, and our expert tradespeople around the country are ready to help out.

The experienced tradespeople who use MyBuilder are always safety-conscious, and that’s more important than ever right now. We’re encouraging all our tradespeople to follow government advice, which might mean some changes to how they do things:

• We’ve asked them to get in touch with customers before arriving to make sure you don’t have symptoms or are not self-isolating

• You should maintain distance when in your home, and avoid handshakes and other gestures such as offering drinks

• Tradespeople are being encouraged to regularly wash and sanitise their hands before and after jobs

If you’re experiencing symptoms or self-isolating, then it’s sensible to delay your job if possible and avoid the chance of passing the virus on to a tradesperson. Similarly, we’ve encouraged tradespeople not to work if they’re ill, in line with government advice.

There are plenty of tradespeople on MyBuilder who are ready to answer calls for help, or tackle bigger jobs that will help make your home more comfortable. MyBuilder will be here to help you find the right person for your job, no matter the size or urgency.

Alexa Sat 21-Mar-20 09:44:18

Scald or boil their coffee mugs after they use them. Tell them where to wash and provide a dedicated towel which you wash after they leave at high temperature. Keep six feet away from them at all times.

After they have gone away wipe door handles and kitchen surfaces etc with methylated spirit+ water, surgical spirit + water, or diluted bleach, Or bathroom cleaner or soap and water will do even if it's not 'bactericidal'.

Alexa Sat 21-Mar-20 09:47:10

Dettol and similar is somewhat discredited but bleach is good. Surgical or methylated spirit is effective against virus. The thing is to wipe not simply spray it around.

Mamardoit Sat 21-Mar-20 09:54:22

I'm sure you will be fine OP. Just do what others have suggested re cleaning.

It works both ways round of course. One of my family has to visit homes to do repairs. He is worried what he might 'take home' to his own young family. That is always a problem though. He has to visit places he would rather not step in all of the time.

Phloembundle Sat 21-Mar-20 10:14:45

DO NOT go out while they are there, because knowing how selfish men are, they will take the opportunity to behave irresponsibly.

Luckygirl Sat 21-Mar-20 10:18:04

Phloembundl - well that post is a bit anti-men! There are just one or two who are OK you know!

And sometimes workers are women!!

GoldenAge Sat 21-Mar-20 10:19:00

rowyn - the first thing is to ask them when they arrive at the door is whether they are well. That will signal immediately that you are concerned about the coronavirus transmission. If they are well, then you should ask them to leave their jackets or other outer clothing if they are wearing any, in their vans. The virus can live in nestled clothing. Then you should ask them to wash their hands and provide the necessary soap and kitchen roll for drying. They will probably be wearing gloves but the gloves if put on outside the home can hold any virus they come in contact with.

The act of broaching the coronavirus concern as soon as they arrive will likely bring out a conversation about it and you will learn from that what precautions they are taking.

Thereafter all the cleaning spoken about already on the thread is required.

I have my cleaning lady due to come on Monday and I will be taking all the same precautions. However, I will message her beforehand to emphasise that if she is experiencing any of the symptoms she should not come - and I will still pay her. Like your workmen, she is a trusted person so it's just a question of being hyper-vigilant about our surroundings. Good luck.

The issue of mutual respect is important. They may be afraid of contracting the virus in your home, and vice-versa. But what is really important for you, if you're over 70 or have underlying conditions, is that you make that known, and keep two metres away from them. I would also ask if they are well before they enter the home.

polnan Sat 21-Mar-20 10:40:39

ASking someone if they are well, seems ..??

as apparently a person can carry it and not be aware..
so Mybuilder seems to be saying
that if we are self isolating, ie. over 70, if no underlying issues, we still shouldn`t have outside jobs done!

I find it all a little confusing, sorry if anyone thinks I am a twerp!

granbabies123 Sat 21-Mar-20 10:46:04

My husband is a decorator and has been for 48 years. I take offence at the comment about leaving men in the house.
My husband has spent a fortune on industrial wipes and washes his hands many times throughout the day. He is a very tidy hygenic worker. I am aware that being the last one on a job after builders, joiners and electricians that he often has to clean up after them but please don't attack all tradesmen.

Alioop Sat 21-Mar-20 10:46:33

I had central heating system put in last week, 3 workmen. Now 2 plasterers are here, finish Tues! I have myself so worked up my sister gave me a good talking to an hour ago. My hands are sore because I am cleaning like mad. I stay in a room away from them, was in garden y'day as it was sunny here in N.Ireland( for a change). Once they leave I'm like a mad bleach woman wherever they have been. Roll on Tues that's all I can say

inishowen Sat 21-Mar-20 10:52:44

You're lucky to have workmen. My brother was having roof repairs done. On Wednesday the men walked away, without any explanation.

inishowen Sat 21-Mar-20 10:54:23

Just another thought. The virus lives on surfaces for around 4 hours. I would leave the cleaning in rooms you dont use until the next day.

narrowboatnan Sat 21-Mar-20 11:02:42

The virus lives on surfaces for more than just a few hours. Explained here - ‘But the NIH study found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus survives for longer on cardboard – up to 24 hours – and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces.‘
This is part of this article:

Sussexborn Sat 21-Mar-20 11:29:44

Phloembundl You’ve obviously had poor experiences of men to make such a sweeping statement. There are far more good men than bad but the bad ones get the public notoriety. A bit like teenagers! Or mother in laws! Keep an open mind and don’t be influenced by stereotypes, perhaps?

rowyn Sat 21-Mar-20 11:47:05

Wow. Thanks for all the suggestions and information.

Vampirequeen,sadly your image is a little faulty, - 50ish overweight bloke of Italian descent, with long black curly hair, and a somewhat callow stepson! However he's been worth his weight in gold over the last 20 years - If I have a problem he turns up within 24 hours. I once left a message on his phone, and a few hours later got a call from someone who said he was contacting me because my bloke was on holiday abroad and had asked him to help as he was also a heating engineer.

And I have some sympathy with what the unspellable/unpronounceable named person says. (Phoeubleam???) Just because of this bloke's personality I think he could be rather casual about precautions, so will be watching. ( I do wish I'd given him a name - can't keep calling him bloke! If needed he is now officially Guiseppe!