Safe System of Work Policy – revised January 2021

NicheCom will continue to undertake property visits in line with all of Public Health England’s recommendations and following our Safe System of Working guidance.

Property visits will only be carried out if the photographer is well and has no symptoms of COVID-19 (however mild). No visits will take place to any household where an occupant has received a positive diagnosis, has any symptoms, is isolating or where an individual has been asked to shield.

Photographers will be wearing PPE, be washing hands regularly (for at least 20 seconds) and will be following the advice to never touch their face, eyes, nose or mouth, cough or sneeze into shoulder and wash hands afterwards.

As of 6th January 2021, for enhanced safety, we will be once again be requesting that all members of a household leave the premises for the duration of a visit.

Key considerations for our photographers when working on customers’ premises:

When discussing an appointment with an occupier/agent, they will check that no occupants are self-isolating, displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, and/or have received a positive diagnosis or have been asked to shield. This also applies when collecting keys from a branch.

At appointment booking stage, we will advise the occupant that they cannot be present whilst our photographers are at the property, and as a consequence, all items must be tidied away prior to visit. Nothing can be touched or moved by our staff, including the bins.

Where the householders are not shielding, self-isolating, displaying any symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, photographers may attend, whilst exercising general best practice in line with the latest Government guidance for the public. This will include the wearing of additional PPE, such as disposable gloves, shoe covers, a face mask and using hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes.

Photographers will put on a fresh pair of gloves and shoe covers for every appointment (at the front door before knocking) and remove/dispose of them before returning to their vehicle. Face masks will be used for a maximum use of 6 hours.

We will be especially vigilant of those persons currently identified as at risk (but who have not officially been asked to shield), such as the over-70’s, and/or those with underlying health issues – insisting on a good level of communication between occupier/agent to ensure these visits go smoothly.

In summary, our photographers will:

  • Check whether any occupants are shielding, self-isolating, experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, and/or have received a positive diagnosis.
  • Only attend an appointment if the occupants are not present.
  • Request that the property be prepared suitably for the visit as they will not be moving items.
  • Wash hands upon arrival for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching face, eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Use disposable gloves, shoe covers and a face mask at every appointment.
  • Regularly using hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes.
  • Wipe down equipment after each appointment

What will we request from the property occupier to ensure work is carried out safely?

Photographers will not move anything whilst at the property (including bins).

When booking the job, the occupier/agent should ensure that the property has been prepared suitably for the visit and understands that it won’t be possible for us to do any supplementary tidying. I.e. if they don’t want an item in the photograph/3D scan then they must remove it/tidy it away beforehand.

Ensure thorough cleaning has taken place before the visit.

Alongside Public Health England’s advice, the Government have advised that keeping a property clean is an effective way of ensuring that COVID-19 doesn’t spread. Frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and tabletops should be cleaned using regular household cleaning products. Wherever possible, disposable washing-up gloves and aprons should be worn for cleaning.

As Government advice during the COVID-19 pandemic is being constantly updated, we will amend our procedures in line with the latest guidance, as/when changes are published.

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