Branch operating guidelines have been published by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) to help builders’ merchants operate safely during the COVID-19 lockdown
The 18-page ‘Branch Operating Guidelines’ document sets out guidelines and additional precautions to follow in the office, at trade counters, during customer and supplier deliveries, customer collection and tool hire.
The guidelines incorporate Public Health England (PHE) social distancing and hygiene procedures and have been prepared in consultation with builders’ merchants, Highways England and the Construction Leadership Council, which has published ‘Site Operating Procedures’ for use on all construction sites.
Two-metre social distancing is a necessity between builders’ merchant staff, customers and suppliers – and information is included on detailed cleaning routines and mandatory compliance to avoid transmission of the virus.
‘Risks can be managed’
John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “The government has made it clear that merchants are a vital part of the construction supply chain and, if it is safe to do so, it is important they are able to support the construction industry as work continues and more sites reopen.
“We have worked with the industry to develop a new operating model to minimise the risk of virus transmission. The new model centres around trade customers using call and collect, click and collect and pre-arranged orders, with no public access into branches.
“The safety of merchant staff, suppliers and customers is paramount and every merchant must make the best decision for their individual business.
“We hope these new guidelines will show how risks can be managed if these safe systems of work are in place and remain effective until further notice.”