What the council have told us so far is
Whether we will visit under the current restrictions is as follows:
1. Does the risk constitute an imminent risk to health and safety (as defined by Chapter 3 of the Housing Act 2004)
2. Is the risk greater than the potential risk of spreading COVID-19.
In the case of the issues on St Martins Estate I’m not aware of any situation that would meet part 1 of this assessment”
We spoke to a professional health and safety consultant (and a member of Unite The Union) about this. He said the council are acting reasonably here
The council is quite right not to expose their employees to risks arising from such work conducting the surveys. Only when they have a suitable risk assessment for such work with adequate control measures should they proceed. I would think this work is very unlikely to go ahead anytime soon as I can see a huge amount of measures required to secure the safety of individuals entering domestic properties.
With the infection rate still high and the virus most easily transmitted indoors. I would advise against the surveys being conducted at present. Meeting members of the public ‘strangers’ indoors is best avoided.
Any meeting between the resident and surveyor should ideally take place outside the property. Or maintaining social distance inside, and full PPE to be worn by the surveyor. But as said before. Due to risks to both residents and workers. I would not consider the surveys a priority task right now. Of course unfortunate for residents having to suffer such conditions.
As to when the survey might start, he said it would be almost impossible for the council to set a date. We couldn’t ask the council to start work when new Covid 19 cases have fallen to a certain level as this isn’t good health and safety practice. He said the council “wouldn’t be held to any arbitrary figure you put on it I’m afraid. Unfortunately they will have to determine when it is safe to resume”
So we will ask them every month for updates on when they think it’s safe to resume. But it’s likely to be some time before it is safe.