Zurich Engineering Inspections
Here to help you
We want to reassure you in these uncertain times that our teams are working hard ensuring we support critical business, services and infrastructure, and vulnerable individuals. The current situation is changing daily and we are constantly reviewing information and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Government and aligning closely with other Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed) companies. We have taken time to ensure we are able to provide a safe and sustainable service to our customers in the current climate, we are reviewing our capacity daily to ensure we can maintain this service and have a prioritised approach, when or if, this becomes an issue.
We have adapted all our policies and procedures to reflect the added risk of Coronavirus, and while our business priority remains the safety of our customers and employees, it now must include the prevention of Coronavirus in support of the Government’s strategy.
It is inevitable that it may not be possible to complete all inspections by the due dates. Where this becomes apparent, duty holders should take advice from the HSE guidance; Please refer to www.hse.gov.uk/news/work-equipment-coronavirus.htm for further details.
Our commitment to our clients
We will continue to deliver a service in these testing times where - to the best of our knowledge - our employees visiting customers sites are not carrying the virus and are those at least risk.
This statement is made on the understanding that:
- We are ensuring self-isolation of our employees - where our employees and/or others in the same household are showing any of the known symptoms in accordance with the advice given by Public Health England (PHE) or are shielding.
- Our employees are not under any financial obligation or pressure to work.
We will consider the controls imposed by our customers and in conjunction with our own COVID-19 Risk Assessment and will discuss any anomalies with our customers to try and provide a solution.
Our Inspection Prioritisation
As with any business, our available resource at any one time will determine the amount of work we can complete. Additionally, we need to be aware of our management of the risk of infection and contamination and the safeguarding of our employees.
This safeguarding means our employees will be spending as little time as possible in the field. Therefore, we must prioritise our work in support of essential services, and ask our customers to help us in keeping our employees safe.
The HSE has provided high-level guidance on prioritisation and the list below is based on this, we support the HSE’s advice and will undertake our inspections in the safest way possible.
- Hospitals, Frontline Health Care, Nursing homes, Care homes, Emergency Services and Key infrastructure
- Supply chains to above
- Multi occupancy domestic type property, Housing Association/local authority work
- Other industry and commerce open for business
- Other industry and commerce currently closed for business
Currently, and only due to the COVID-19 issue and safeguarding of individuals, in agreement with other SAFed members we will not enter single-occupancy dwellings (private houses or flats etc.).
Helping keep our employees safe during inspections
We are facing challenges in keeping our inspectors safe whilst they undertake inspections and examinations. We ask for your help and support by following the general requirements outlined below, and also some specific requirements for Nursing and care homes, housing associations and local authority homes and businesses that are currently closed for business.
- Conversations regarding site risks and control measures will be held and controls agreed prior to arriving at site.
- Ensure the attendance of the maintenance companies to assist in inspections, essential for preparation, testing and assistance with some plant.
- Client to manage social distancing by all persons at all times in line with Public Health England guidance.
- Where possible a parking place should be provided – as our surveyors are no longer using public transport.
- Where appropriate, a separate entrance to the general public access to be provided.
In situations where these requirements cannot be met, our engineer surveyors may decide to discontinue the inspection until these requirements can be met.
Additional requirements for Nursing and Care homes
- All portable equipment to be put in a common area for inspection, to ensure social distancing is met and protection for our employees this area shall be restricted to our sole use. It will be away from residents, and only limited staff (not wearing PPE used while caring for residents).
- All equipment should be cleaned down before and after inspection, patient slings are required to be laundered.
- Passenger lifts should be made available for the period of the examination and all common areas and landings of the lift be kept free of residents and staff. All social distancing measures need to be applied and managed.
- Consideration for access, if possible, via an alternative to the main entrance
- We require necessary hygiene facilities to be made available for our use.
- We will only inspect in common areas or machine rooms - we will NOT enter private flats or rooms
- Patient hoists/slings shall be cleaned/laundered prior to being provided for examination, in a common area – we will not enter flats for fixed equipment. If our surveyor is unsure this has been completed, a Not Available (NV) report may be issued.
- Hand-washing facilities should be provided where possible. PHE advise that in the absence of hand-washing facilities, a sanitizer is a suitable alternative. However, if the engineer surveyor feels suitable hygiene cannot be maintained, they may decide to discontinue the inspection until the situation can be resolved.
For further information contact your Engineer Surveyor
Additional requirements for Housing Associations and Local Authority homes
- In relation to COVID-19 where an SRC cannot be provided on site, alternative measures should be implemented, which require the following points to be considered;
Our Surveyor will be familiar with the site and associated risks, in addition, must be comfortable the requirements of our COVID-19 RA can be met and adopted.
- In respect of lone working where an SRC cannot be provided on site or remotely, alternative measures will be implemented. Our “buddy system” will be adopted. Our current Lone Working policy states ‘In some circumstances another Engineer Surveyor, working in close proximity, can assume the role of an SRC.’ Our policy remains the same, however this option may now be used more frequently.
- Where points above cannot be achieved, 2 man working may be adopted - however social distancing must remain a priority.
- We will only inspect in common areas or machine rooms - we will not enter private flats or rooms
- Hand-washing facilities should be provided where possible. PHE advise that in the absence of hand-washing facilities, a sanitizer is a suitable alternative. However, if the engineer surveyor feels suitable hygiene cannot be maintained, they retain the right to decide to discontinue the inspection until the situation can be resolved.
For further details contact your Zurich Relationship Manager
Additional requirements for Closed Business
- Safe access/exit the site with a site responsible person (i.e. manager) on site for the duration of the examination.
- Site contamination risks reduced for the duration of the inspection – i.e. limited access to site, essential visitors only.
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