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Live updates: How is the electrical industry reacting to Coronavirus?

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Over the last few weeks, the situation regarding COVID-19 has escalated. How is the electrical industry dealing with the coronavirus pandemic?

 

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus, so if you are showing any of the symptoms, you will need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.

 

The latest advice is that you should stay at home for 14 days if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.

 

While those who work in offices or similar environments can work from home, tradespeople obviously have to be out and about to continue working, which can pose problems. How has the industry reacted to the situation?

 

Thursday 2 April

 

Electric Center comes up with the goods

Another delivery made for emergency supplies this morning. Goods arrived with us at 10am from our suppliers, delivered…

Posted by Electric Center Northampton on Thursday, April 2, 2020

 

Wednesday 1 April

 

Martin Lewis tweets…

 

 

 

Gira UK staying available

 

Gira is ensuring its UK technical support team remains available on a remote basis from Monday to Friday, between 8am and 6pm.

UK Technical Support: email: hotline-uk@gira.com or call 0203 936 8095.

 

The Gira supply chain is also business-as-usual, so customers can still place new orders or discuss current sales orders by contacting Gira Germany below:

Sales Enquiries: email sales@gira.com or auftragsabwicklung@gira.de or call +49 2195 602 721.

 

Mark Booth (pictured below), Managing Director of Gira UK, said: “Our technical support team is hugely experienced and is here to help with any queries. And our office systems will redirect any requests to our UK representatives automatically.”

 

 

Tuesday 31 March

 

The NICEIC has announced a number of changes in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

More information on the NICEIC website.

 

Monday 30 March

 

The Mental Health Foundation has compiled advice to help you, your friends and your family to look after your mental health.

Thursday 26 March

 

We are still open for trading throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted by Electric Center on Thursday, March 26, 2020

Building services firms are helping to save lives, says BEIS

The building engineering industry is providing a critical service by ensuring buildings can continue to operate as normal and support essential operations such as the NHS and food suppliers in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The important status of engineers who maintain the reliability of heating, hot water, ventilation, electrical and building management systems during the coronavirus crisis was confirmed by a BEIS official during a webinar hosted by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

BEIS confirmed that building maintenance should continue as normal, subject to compliance with Public Health England guidance, the government’s social distancing policy and the site operating guidance published by the Construction Leadership Council.

 

Red Arrow ensures essential items are well stocked

Red Arrow Electrical Distributors says it is taking additional measures to ensure stock levels are replenished at a higher rate than usual, and remain committed to the safest possible handling of products.

They added: “We are also following the Government guidelines and NHS advice, and have reduced our on-site workforce to a minimal number that allows us to process the demand for essential items. These include site lighting, emergency lighting and other essential lighting products, plus our Kite Mark range of smoke, heat and Carbon Monoxide alarms, distribution boards and circuit breakers.”

 

Super Rod launches survey

The survey aims to find out more about the challenges and actions electricians are taking and the support they need now and in the future. It is anonymous and should take no more than five minutes to complete. They are hoping to use the findings to ensure our industry’s voice is heard and we are not forgotten. Click here to enter.

 

Working during the Coronavirus crisis quiz

Try our quiz, based on the latest advice from the HHIC. Full advice and much more information here.

 

 

Wednesday 25 March

 

#SelfIsolationInspiration

We asked electricians to show us what they’ve been getting up to now they have more time on their hands, and they didn’t disappoint! Check out the highlights on our #SelfIsolationInspiration page and get involved yourself on Instagram.

 

Getting fruity

Ansell Lighting has provided its staff with a fruit and veg package.

 

Teaching online

Electrical lecturers including those at MIT Skills are getting used to new ways of working and teaching.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Our #Electrical #tutor Steve is now using Zoom to deliver his lesson #online. Our priority is to ensure our learners excel in their apprenticeship! #SelfIsolation can’t stop us from doing what we do best. #educationmatters #Constructionuk #coronavirusuk #LockdownNow #Sparky

A post shared by M.I.T. Skills (@mitskills) on

 

Selco closes branches

Branches of Selco Builders Warehouse will close for the next three weeks due to the COVID-19 situation.

 

Chief Executive Howard Luft said the welfare of customers, colleagues and suppliers was paramount. He added: “We are living in unprecedented times and I’m certain this is the right and responsible decision for everyone connected with Selco.”

 

Any customers with outstanding delivery or Click & Collect orders will be contacted by their local branch.

 

Tuesday 24 March

 

Emergency callouts can still be undertaken, but anything which can be put off should be, says Michael Gove.

Over nine in 10 engineering services businesses (93 per cent) say they are ‘concerned or very concerned’ about the impact of coronavirus on their business over the next six months, according to initial responses to a major new ECA / BESA / SELECT engineering services survey.

Following last night’s updated guidelines issued by the Prime Minister, Selco Builders Warehouse has closed its branches today and is seeking clarification to find out whether it will be allowed to continue to operate during this period.

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has joined calls for site managers to show leniency towards staff with expired SKILLcards, because operatives are unable to sit their tests due to the closure of testing centres last Friday to help stem the outbreak of COVID-19.

 

Monday 23rd March

 

BEW Electrical has closed all of its trade counters. The company has issued the following update:

 

Friday 20th March

 

SPARKS has launched the #SelfIsolationInspiration challenge – here’s Rick from EGTE’s attempt. Get involved on social media!

The ECA has made its coronavirus advice available to all, online.

 

 

 

NAPIT has postponed its events which were due to take place between March and June.

BEW Electrical Distributors says its business as usual for them and that all 22 branches remain open, albeit with the necessary precautions in place.

 

 

The government has classified electricians working in utilities, communication and financial services as key workers. As such, the children of these workers will be prioritised for education provision.

 

The government’s advice states that parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response also include those in working in the oil, gas, and water sectors, including sewerage.

 

The government’s advice stresses that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, but that key workers who cannot keep their child safe at home will be prioritised for education provision.

 

The government’s ‘Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision’ can be read here.

 

 

Megger says its offices remain open and sales teams that can’t do physical visits will be available on the phone or email. It will also be putting out a new series of webinars as it ramps up its technical support.

 

Full statement here:

 

 

Thursday 19th March:

 

It’s business as usual for Electric Center and CEF, albeit with additional safety measures put in place.

The London CEDIA Tech Summit planned for 31 March has been postponed. It will now take place on 4 September 2020. The venue remains the same – The Business Design Centre, Islington. More information at www.cedia.co.uk.

 

 

Wednesday 18th March:

 

York College has announced that it will be suspending face-to-face teaching from today at 3pm.

Connexbox says it’s ‘business as usual’ and you can still shop with them online.

Tuesday 17th March:

 

A survey has been launched by BESA, ECA and SELECT to get an early picture of the effect of Coronavirus on the engineering services sector and its supply chain.

 

The survey can be completed here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2CWB95Z

 

ESA Director of CSR Paul Reeve said: “Coronavirus is a fast-moving situation with significant social and economic implications. It is vital we understand the key problems being faced by companies and how to both represent and practically support our industry in what is fast becoming a changeable and challenging near future.”

 

The survey, which is completely confidential, should take around three minutes to complete. The initial deadline for responses is Friday 27th March at 4pm.

 

The survey comes as Build UK and CECA have stated that construction ‘sites may have to close’ due to coronavirus. The two bodies will be asking the Government to ‘identify safety critical work on the infrastructure network that is essential and must be continued’.

 

ECA is monitoring the situation closely and has created an employer advice portal at www.eca.co.uk/coronavirus. All updates and advice about the Coronavirus from BESA are available at https://www.thebesa.com/coronavirus-updates/.

 

Monday 16th March:

Big Wipes says it has received many enquiries, with its product being used by many tradespeople on the job – here’s what they had to say.

Electricians and other tradespeople are urging customers not to organise tradespeople coming into their homes while they are isolating.

KEW Electrical has postponed branch events until they can ‘review the situation’.

Some electricians are making plans should a nationwide lockdown be enforced.

The Rainy Day Trust is offering its support for tradespeople throughout the period.

But ultimately, morale is high among the trades!

Government support

 

If you are a contracted worker you will be entitled to statutory sick pay from day one of your self-isolation instead of day four – and you can self-certify for the first seven days without the need for a medical note.

 

If you are self-employed you will be eligible to apply for Universal Credit for the period of your self-isolation.

 

The government has put measures in place to support small and medium-sized businesses during the pandemic – find out more here.

 

Mike Hughes, Schneider Electric’s UK & Ireland President, said: “Measures to limit the impact of Coronavirus on business and the economy general are extremely welcome and provide reassurance the new government is pro-business.”

 

Medical advice

 

For up-to-date information about the coronavirus, including how to avoid catching it or spreading it, head to the NHS website here.

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