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Safety Tips for Contractor/Vendor Visits During COVID-19

We are living in an unprecedented time as we collectively battle COVID-19, and many homeowners are hesitant to allow others to enter their homes. While it’s a more opportune time to have contractors working on the home’s exterior, delaying emergency interior repairs and critical home maintenance could lead to significant problems.  In the event you need to allow a contractor into your home for those essential home repairs, not only should you request a certification of insurance, but the following are some reasonable questions to ask your contractor, subcontractors or vendors before they arrive:

  1. Ask if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough or shortness of breath)?
  2. Question if they have been around anyone who has COVID-19?
  3. Ask them what precautions their company takes to protect employees and clients, such as providing time off for illness or requiring staff to practice social distancing, and will the employees come to your home with respiratory masks and shoe booties.  
  4. Attempt to discuss the specifics of the job over the phone before-hand to avoid interaction when the contractor comes on site. 
  5. Make all payments digitally to avoid unneeded contact.

In addition, on the day of their arrival, it’s perfectly acceptable to place a final check-in call or text to ensure that they are still feeling well. Moreover, based on what answers you receive, you might decide not to allow a specific contractor to enter your home at this time. Conversely, if you feel comfortable with the screening answers, you should also consider the following, additional hygiene tips:

  1. Upon arrival, practice social distancing and maintain a distance of at least six feet from the contractor. Wear a mask and have your family members and the contractor wear one as well. 
  2. Do not shake hands with the contractor. Politely ask the contractor to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or wear a new pair of disposable gloves if the type of work permits them to do so.  
  3. Be mindful of where the contractor(s) travel within your home, so you can properly disinfect the space after they depart. Ideally, the shortest distance traveled is preferable. Focus on frequently-touched surfaces and objects such as door handles, faucets, light switches, banisters and the powder room.
  4. If possible, ensure that all occupants of the home and pets remain in a separate room as a precautionary measure.    
  5. If at any time during the visit you feel uncomfortable, it is perfectly acceptable to politely ask the contractor to leave.

A few final tips:

  1. The contractor works for you. You can establish reasonable limits for how they work, and in what capacity.
  2. The same basic COVID-19 tips published by the CDC also apply to the contractor-screening process.  
  3. If someone in your home is feeling ill or under quarantine, you should extend the same courtesy and inform your contractor.
  4. Trust your judgment.

Last, for the latest information and guidelines, check with the CDC and your state’s official website and adhere to those recommended safety precautions.


Jenny Naughton is Executive Vice President, Risk Consulting Officer, Chubb Personal Risk Services

 

 

Article Sources:

Dedicated 2019-nCoV CDC Website.

Center for Disease Control can be found here.

World Health Organization can be found here.

The opinions and positions expressed are the authors’ own and not those of Chubb. The information and/ or data provided herein is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Insurance coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued.