page 13 – a day in the life of a gas engineer during the coronavirus outbreak

a day in the life of a gas engineer during the coronavirus outbreak

It’s not always obvious who has an essential job to keep us all safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gas engineers have a vital job, ensuring that heating systems remain safe at a time when most of us are spending more time than ever in our homes.

A fault on a central heating system could lead to potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning, so advice from government, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register is that safety checks must continue during the coronavirus pandemic.

believe housing Gas Engineer Paul Douthwaite has shared his thoughts on working to keep customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

“From the moment I wake up in the morning, my working day is very different to how it was just three months ago. My wife currently works from home, while also caring for our daughter, and I must make sure that every decision I take during my working day is in the interest of my family as well as our customers.

“Ordinarily I start each day by putting on clean uniform and complete my van check at 7.30am. Now, I also take stock of the personal protective equipment (PPE) that I have on my van to ensure that I have enough to complete the day. I also speak to my team leader to discuss the day’s work I have planned and to make sure there are no special instructions for any of the jobs I have in my diary for the day.


“During times of normality I would check the address of my first job and head off to the property. Now before I set off, I ring the tenant to find out more details of the repair and to see if I can fix the fault over the phone.

“The first job I have planned is a boiler fault, which means I must attend as it can’t be repaired over the phone.

“The tenant is expecting me when I arrive, and they have left the back door open for me while they waited in the lounge to maintain a safe social distance. Before entering the property, I put on the necessary PPE and head into the kitchen to repair the boiler.

“It takes around an hour to repair the boiler and carry out the necessary safety checks. Our planner also informed me that the home was due an annual gas service. So, while I was there, I also carried out the annual safety check and service. This means an engineer doesn’t have to attend in two weeks; reducing the risk of

spreading coronavirus, saving time, and another set of PPE that would have been required to complete the visit.

“Once the repair is complete, I wipe clean any surfaces that I’ve touched, record everything I’ve done digitally and sign the paperwork on behalf of the tenant before leaving.

Pictured above: Paul Douthwaite from believe housing.