Lessons learned for operating during Covid-19

For the trade: Lessons learned for operating during Covid-19

April 29, 2020

We’re now in our 6th week of lockdown.  We’ve found new ways to work to ensure that the all-important social distancing and enhanced cleaning regimes can be achieved whilst still getting on with the job.  But as Boris announces that this is the crucial moment to not take our eyes off the ball with regard to maintaining all the good preventative measures, it seems a good time to share what we have learned over the past 5 weeks or so about how to operate under the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, especially as the major national housebuilders talk about starting up again.

Lessons from Bradfords

Not having the usual physical relationship with your colleagues is hard.  At Bradfords, we’re one big family and we’re finding it tough not to be as tactile as we’re used to.  You might not even think that you are very tactile, but that handshake, manly hug, or simple pat on the back that we took for granted only a month or so ago is no longer ok.  Just be aware of the effect this has on your ability to build and maintain relationships, particularly where the work you are doing means you are relying on someone else to enable you to complete it safely.  Take time to communicate really clearly and make sure that you’ve talked about how you’ll do the job differently in order to complete it without breaking social-distancing guidelines.

Social distancing can be really tricky in certain situations – in a corridor, shared lifting of items, and so on.  In  Bradfords we’ve had to move printers, change office arrangements, and be ruthless on a strict rota for making a brew.  We even issued our staff with a 2m length of batten to allow them to ward off anyone who tries to get too close!  Take the time to put proper procedures in place that mean that everyone knows how it works.  Whether it’s a one-way system or lifting facing away from each other, much better to have discussed this before you start than only figure out halfway through that you’re about to fail to maintain separation.

Have you got sufficient and appropriate cleaning facilities on site?  At Bradfords we’ve lost count of the packets of Big Wipes that we’ve gone through.  To minimise the risk of spreading the infection you need to ensure that you can wash your hands on arrival to site, everytime you come in contact with an object that you haven’t previously wiped down and you don’t know whether anyone else has touched it, and on leaving.  Make sure you have sufficient cleaning gear in the form of wipes or alcohol gel to be able to wipe down any shared equipment between users.

Communicate early with your suppliers.  Let them know what you expect of them when they are on site.  They should adhere to your policies, but that will be all the easier if they know what they are.

Can you use technology more to help you?  With the likes of scanner apps which use your phone’s camera to scan documents and the like, you can achieve far less actual contact with others, and hence reduce the chance of virus spread.

Is everybody who is on site needed there?  Social distancing is much easier where there are less people.

For more information on managing a construction site during this time please refer to the Site Operating Procedures (SOP) link at the bottom of this page.

Above all look after yourselves, and stay safe,

The Bradfords Family

Useful Software and Resources

Government Business Support – https://bit.ly/34EVIoJ

Government resources for Construction Industry – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-and-covid-19-building-safety-update-27-march-2020

Site Operating Procedures from Construction Leadership Council – https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Site-Operating-Procedures-23-March-2020-v1.pdf

If you are a site operator or you manage a job site this is a fantastic guide to make sure you and your site is following social distancing and other Government Guidelines.

Coronavirus testing for Key workers. Specifically in oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage) – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested#who-can-be-tested

Bradfords Trade Portal.

If you have a trade account with Bradfords you can connect it to the Trade Portal and here you can manage materials lists, customer invoices and your Bradfords account so you are always prepared and can carry on with your financial admin work from anywhere and at any time.

With access to the Trade Portal you can also;

*Shop online using your termed prices agreed in branch

*View order history and easily reorder products

*Browse your invoices and statements