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Credit: Jay Mullings, Unsplash
maintaining safe distancing. And larger construction
projects have come under fire when their workers
have been shown to be flouting the safety rules.
But there are projects, either commercial or
even in DIY, where work could continue, safely and
without disruption to others. And, after the initial
days of lockdown, most of us are coming to terms
with what that means in terms of the day-to-day
logistical issues of living this way as well as the moral
and legal learning curve. And therefore, perhaps
some of those early outbursts of indignation, might
not happen now.
Let me set out my own store: we have a number
of contracts for supply and fit windows and doors
for NHS estates. As such we operate according to
strict rules of engagement not just on NHS sites
where we are installing, but also within our factory
in order to be able to manufacture product for
those contracts. Therefore, since way before the
formal lockdown, we have applied strict distancing,
disinfecting, washing, PPE procedures in addition
to regularly monitoring workers’ temperatures. It
is significantly safer to work in a Pioneer factory or
site, than it is for our people to visit a supermarket
or petrol station.
The blanket rule therefore, that no factory should
be making and installing windows and doors is, in
my opinion, wrong. We have a clear and justifiable
reason for doing so, but irrespective of our NHS
involvement, I believe that it is appropriate to make
and install windows and doors, if this is being done
under stringent safety and legal rules. Why should
a small building site, or self-builder, or DIYer not be
able to complete their project if it can be show that
they are operating legally and ethically? How can
that possibly be wrong, just because not everyone
can do it?
The atmosphere now has changed from a
fortnight ago, and will have changed again by the
time this is read. After six weeks of lockdown, most
of us know how to behave and have adopted the
new and often bizarre etiquettes remarkably quickly
and easily. So much so I believe, that it will be
harder to shake them off than it was to adopt them
in the first place.
Do you not wince whenever you see people even
shaking hands on the TV these days?
We have to return to work. It will not be
overnight and, whilst there are increasing number
of companies announcing their return to work, it is
wishful thinking at best to believe that any of us will
be churning out frames at any significant rate for
But in the meantime, let’s put an end to the
judgement that any such activity is simply wrong.
And let’s judge each case – if we must judge at all –
in a fair and considered manner.
“the landscape of the window and door industry
will look quite different from the moment in March
when the PM announced that all residents should
stay at home to protect the NHS”
“there are projects, either commercial or even in DIY, where
work could continue, safely and without distruption ”