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West Norfolk housing provider to investigate complaint over safety checks visit

Freebridge Community Housing has promised to investigate "as a matter of urgency" a complaint about engineers visiting its properties for safety checks.

Stow Bridge resident John Evans contacted the Lynn News earlier this month, highlighting the fear that several tenants had about contractors entering their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Freebridge responded by insisting that the checks were necessary under its duty of care and assured tenants that engineers would be equipped with full personal protective equipment (PPE).

However, Mr Evans has since lodged a formal complaint.

He says visits were made to properties in Bardolph Place last Tuesday by a worker wearing "ordinary clothes, disposable dust mask that only protects the wearer (and he wasn't wearing it properly) and nitrile gloves".

Mr Evans claims the man who came to his home became abusive when asked where his PPE was.

Freebridge's director of housing, Sophie Bates, says the matter will be looked into but the safety checks must be undertaken.

“Freebridge are sorry to hear about the experience that Mr Evans has had in respect of the completion of the safety check to his property. This is not what we would expect from those conducting visits such as this.

"We will investigate with those involved as to what happened in this instance as a matter of urgency.

"We do understand people's very real concerns regarding the situation with coronavirus. However, as a landlord, we also have a duty of care to our tenants, and it is because of this we carry out these annual safety checks.

"All visiting operatives are provided with PPE (personal protective equipment) and are instructed to take the necessary precautions to maintain a safe distance from customers while they visit."

Freebridge tenants with health concerns in relation to the safety checks being completed are asked to call 03332 404 444.

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