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Builders Merchants Federation sets out guidelines for staff during COVID-19 outbreak



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An industry trade body has set out guidelines for builders' merchants in Norfolk to operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has produced an 18-page document, setting out advice for builders’ merchant staff covering work in the office, at the trade counter, deliveries and customer collection and tool hire.

Two-metre social distancing is paramount between staff, customers and suppliers – and information is included on detailed cleaning routines and mandatory compliance to avoid transmission of the virus.

Builders Merchants Federation (33885668)
Builders Merchants Federation (33885668)

John Newcomb, BMF chief executive, said: “This is a comprehensive document which sets out how to achieve minimum COVID-19 spread by developing a new operating model.

“That model centres around phone, click/call and collect and pre-arranged orders, with no public access into shop or products.

“As a trade association, the BMF does not have the authority to instruct members to remain open, or to close, their businesses.

“We all understand that in current circumstances, it is not ‘business as usual’ and difficult decisions must be made at every level.

“The number one priority is to minimise the risk of transmitting coronavirus.

“The safety of staff, suppliers and customers is paramount, and the risks can be managed if safe systems of work are in place and remain effective until further notice.

“The Government has made it clear that merchants are a vital part of the construction supply chain and it is important they continue to support the construction industry to operate on sites, and to provide the link between product manufacturers and the firms and tradespeople that use and install the products they make.”

BMF is a member of the Task Force, which comprises of leading trade associations representing both large and small firms in the construction sector, contractors, specialist contractors, home builders, product manufacturers, merchants and associated professional services, as well as Government Departments and major clients of the industry.



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