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Heading Back To Work Safely

Morning everyone, 

I'm relatively new to these forums, but it's great to see the broad range of expertise on display from members. Hope you have all been keeping weel throughout the last couple of months. Certianly has been a crazy year up to this point. I was curious to find out what other members plans were for re-opening common work spaces. We're looking at all the you'd need to do this with social distancing to ensure we're up to code. Was just wanting to know if other members had plans beyond the government advice, and what your plans were!



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  • Quite a number of us on here work alone. I fall into this category and so I have just continued pretty much as normal throughout the entire lockdown period. I tend to be on larger sites in rural places here in Derbyshire, so I have never had to think about the issues that comes with having multiple employees.

    Having said that, I am having an extension built currently and the builders seem to be operating as normal. It is very difficult to keep away from each other when travelling in the same vehicle or when passing materials to each other etc. The builders are sort of related to me and we are making them tea and giving them cake etc. as normal.  When we are stood around talking we do stand at a distance, but it is near impossible to be at least two metres apart at all times for them.

    In the last two days I have been talking to a hospital administrator, a senior teaching nurse [a relative] and an undertaker I know well [mowing cemeteries means you are on good terms with them]. They have all told me the same story.

    It appears that when someone dies either at home or in hospital, Covid 19 is mentioned in some way on the death certificate as a matter of course now, even with no testing having been done prior to death or any suspicion of them having had it. Death certificates are now issued by a local doctor using Facetime. The carer or family member holds the phone over the deceased and the Doctor looks on and then gives out the death certificate remotely, for which he or she gets £82 by the way.

    The Undertaker said that Covid is now used on death certificates in the same way that Pneumonia was always mentioned, particularly in the elderly as a cover all. His own father had Pneumonia written on his death certificate some years ago even though he had never had it. So Covid has now substituted Pneumonia as the word used to just include possible repertory causes.

    The hospital administrator said she had asked the senior consultant why all these untested elderly deaths had covid 19 mentioned on the death certificates without having been tested. She asked him, is this some sort of administrative scam? To which he just gave her a knowing look and smirked at her.

    My relative who is a senior nurse said the same thing. If Covid is mentioned in some way on the death certificate it means they don’t have to do a post mortem. It is used as a shortcut to save time and work. It seem that anyone who works in these areas knows that the death figures from Covid are actually much lower than the official figures would suggest.

    Chesterfield Hospital, which covers a vast swathe of north east Derbyshire including many towns  currently has only seven Covid patients, all of which are on the Covid ward and there are no Covid patients in ICU.

    Now I am fully aware of the dangers and issues around Covid and have not only socially distanced but have kept away from people all together. But it is interesting to know what is actually going on.

    • This is why we look at 'excess deaths' (compared to previous years) rather than 'people that died'.   It is possible that COVID deaths are being exaggerated by including routine deaths of old age, and untreated illnesses due to hospitals being cleared in anticipation of COVID cases.  But it would take a conspiracy of vast proportions to persuade a Tory government to mobilise the resources that it has given to the NHS, the employed and the self employed.   If you believe in a conspiracy so all encompassing, then you can expect to see your comment (and my reply) quickly removed.   

      • You see, this is why I am reluctant to use social media. Because what I say can be taken out of context or spun or twisted to suggest something very different to what I was actually saying.

        Let’s get one thing absolutely straight from the start. I don’t believe in ANY conspiracy theories at all. I leave all that nonsense to the flat earthers etc. and other wackos on YouTube.

        I fully believe in all the facts about Covid 19. I am not and have never been a covid denier or even slightly sceptical about it at all. I have been as worried and as scared as everyone else. I am fully aware and fully engaged with the dangers and have completely and happily and readily complied with all social distancing and lockdown rules and regulations.

        Why would you read my post and then jump to the conclusion that I believe in some sort of conspiracy? I don’t.

        All I was reporting is what people in professional medical positions have told me. This only implies that the official total death figure might be slightly higher than in reality. The Government would never try to inflate the death figures would they?  My point was that some Doctors are using the term Covid 19 on death certificates where it is not proven. That was all. The Government only have the figures provided by the Doctors.

        I voted Conservative and for Brexit and it has been a real relief to me to see Boris fully in charge. I think the Government have been superb throughout both the Covid pandemic and in other areas, especially Brexit. So the last thing I would ever do would be to criticise the Government or to try and say that there is some sort of conspiracy.

        Please read my posts more carefully before suggesting I am saying things that clearly I am not saying.

        • I clearly misunderstood what you were saying about the hospital administrator and the consultant, and 'what is actually going on', so I apologise for suggesting you thought there was a conspiracy.  Tim

    • i have herd simular from other sorces 

      • PRO

        Not from my recent experience .  My brother passed away Three weeks ago , He was a resident in a care home after suffering a brain injury before which he was healthy , athletic and  hard working professional musician . 

        Some might say he was a sitting duck in a care home but shortly before his death i was informed he had tested positive for covid 19 the week before and was put on the covid ward . 

        I received a call at 11 am to inform me he was in the final stages of his life and by 2 pm he passed away . 

        5 pm a death certificate was issued which states Covid 19 infection as the cause of death but lists secondary conditions linked to his vulnerability and its very detailed .

        I accept Covid 19 as the cause of death , I find it disturbing that some health professionals choose to betray the oath they signed and choose to inform friends and relatives of their suspicions with or without evidence . 

        My wife is a health professional and has been for 30 years and in all that time i have never once heard her mention anything connected to her work .  

        It's equally distressing to hear such claims and feeds my imagination that covid 19 may just be a flag of convenience to wave when someone passes away and reduces the need for a post mortem for all i know my brother may have been carted off and given a lethal injection as he was somehow regarded as a burden but i am more balanced to accept the reality but some people are perhaps not so balanced particularly in a period of grief .

        If someone passes away from Covid 19 its pretty obvious in most cases .

        • PRO

          ONS figures are the ones to look at and they are excessive. 

          The fear since the begining has been the winter coming up, and ill certainly be working in as safe a manner as possible till next spring. Yes the overall stats imply that the risk is very low to most groups of people, but theres a lot of healthy people (assumed maybe as much as 1 in 10) that although dont require hostpitalisation, are taking a long time to recover and might well have perminent damage to various organs or ME.

          Theres a lot of relief it wasnt worse and a lot of complacency setting in with a lot of the public. I think its very important to remain at an extreme caution state in our work as we did throughout this crisis. 

          Realistically 9-10 months of this situation left to go -- a very,very long year ahead.

          As to original question - you dont mention what area of work you do ?  You stopped a long time - im guessing you have issues that solo operators havent had ?

          John, very sorry for your loss -- wishing you all the best. 

          • PRO

            That's a great comfort Dan , Thankyou . 

            Hope you are well ?  I will send you a catch up email shortly .

  • Not knowing your situation, but we carry out garden maintenance and I employ just two guys. We stopped for one week, after Boris announced the lockdown.  Looked into the situation thoroughly and it was obvious(in the end!) that we could carry on by taking necessary precautions.  We cut out tavelling in the same vehicle, using same tools, distancing etc etc. I emailed all customers explaining where we are and if they wanted us to continue.  If so, asking them not to interact with the lads, no cups of tea etc. All pay by DD, bank transfer or cheque.  One large commercial customer cut our hours, even the care homes were OK with us continuing. Personally, I had to stay at home for two months, but the dry weather was a real help as grass and weeds were slow for that period.

    There was a lot of 'mis-information' at the start, mainly through heresay, but things have settled down, a few 'reminders ' are required sometimes that we are not 'back to normal' yet!!

This reply was deleted.

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