Search the Halton Housing Website

Can’t find what you’re 
looking for?

Filter your search results by visiting our help and support page.

Help & Support
My Tenancy
Menu

Andy ONeill has been a gas engineer at Halton Housing for 16 years.

Andy carrying out a gas safety check wearing PPE.

Gas engineers are among the many key workers on the frontline delivering essential services during the lockdown period and are responsible for installing, repairing, and servicing gas appliances and gas emergencies in customers’ homes.

Despite the coronavirus crisis, we still had a legal requirement to complete essential gas safety checks. In addition to this, Andy and the Gas Team responded around the clock to emergency breakdowns and repairs throughout lockdown. This included an emergency boiler install for an NHS key worker, as it was deemed essential for in her role on the frontline.

Andy says: “Many people are spending more time at home during lockdown which means our customers are using their gas appliances more than ever, so the work we undertook to keep them safe, and their appliances working was absolutely vital.”

Even in normal times, being a gas engineer is challenging but rewarding. Since coronavirus things have changed dramatically. Andy explains: “The job is always evolving but it has even more so due to the current pandemic. I now carry out a doorstep risk assessment and check customers have no symptoms and advise them I will be wearing appropriate PPE such as a mask and gloves whilst carrying out the work and to respect the social distancing guidelines”.

“At a recent job I attended, an elderly customer was very anxious and was refusing access. I explained to the customer in detail how I would be carrying out the job and explained they could stay in another room or sit in the garden as it was a sunny day. This eased the customers fears and I completed the job successfully. Later that day, my manager informed me personally to explain that the customer had sent a lovely compliment in calling me a “proper gentleman” which gave me huge satisfaction that the work I’m carrying out is much appreciated.”

“Because our job is so customer-facing, you do get some interesting insights into how the country is coping with life under lockdown. For the most part, I’ve found people to be very understanding and welcoming about the whole situation.”

We resumed “new normal” services on Monday 1st June. The safety of our customers and staff still remains our number one priority. Gas engineers are taking extra precautions to ensure both their safety and our customers. Andy says: “We are all following safe systems of work protocols and wearing personal protective equipment and will aim to complete jobs and checks as quickly as possible, keeping the customer informed at all stages. Customers do not even need to be in the same room. We also ensure customers’ homes are left clean and tidy, including sanitising any surfaces touched.”

Customers are asked to notify us if they or anyone in their household has either being diagnosed with Coronavirus, is self-isolating, has any flu-like symptoms, or has any other concerns as to why we should not complete work in their home, before sending an engineer to their home.

Despite this, working in customers’ homes during the coronavirus lockdown period carried many risks. Andy says: “I do sometimes find myself reflecting on the extra risks that the job carries at the moment, especially when I’m back home with my family at the end of a shift. But honestly, I’m still going to go out there every time, to keep people safe. We all feel that sense of duty at Halton Housing.”

It was thanks to the hard work of Andy and our gas engineers that we recently broke our all-time record for gas safety checks in a day, with the team completing a massive 50 checks.

Jon Blackwell, Head of Repairs and Maintenance said “This is a fantastic achievement by any stretch, but in the current circumstances is amazing! We know this is a worrying time but keeping customers safe is our top priority and we would like to thank customers for their part in helping us achieve this.”

If you’re a Halton Housing customer and have any concerns over gas safety, or you wish to change your has servicing appointment, please call our Gas Team on 0151 510 5234 (8:30am – 4:30pm) or email gas.actions@haltonhousing.org.

Related Help & Support Articles

Find helpful articles on finding your next home with Halton Housing, and how to apply for a home here.

View All Help & Support

Latest News

Stay up to date with all the latest Halton Housing news here

Read More News
Halton News

Let’s stay connected. Let’s keep ...

22nd October 2020

Every one of our customers is unique, and we know that you may want to engage with us in different ways, depending on your lifestyle and preferences. The coronavirus pandemic and the limitations on meeting physically, and the fact that we live in an ever-increasing digital world – we, like all organisations need to be […]

find out more
Halton News

Permanent base for ‘All Or Nothing’ fitne...

20th October 2020

Halton Housing is proudly supporting ‘All Or Nothing’, a not for profit group supporting local people with fitness, wellbeing and mental health by providing a shop on a peppercorn rent (small charge) for them to base their activities. All Or Nothing work with children aged 7+ through to adults from all walks of life to […]

find out more
Halton News

Slow cooker initiative extended

6th October 2020

Following the success of our summer slow cooker initiative, which saw 100 of our customers receive a free slow cooker kit to help them create healthy and nutritious meals, we are pleased to announce that this initiative has been extended, with a further 100 slow cookers now available. The initiative which have been part-funded by […]

find out more
Persona insight
Halton News

Group tackling social isolation and lonelines...

2nd October 2020

A service that supports people with mental health, social isolation and loneliness has launched community drop-in sessions in Widnes. Persona Insight (PI) provides a safe community space for Halton residents with the aim of building people’s confidence for a better outlook and positive future. The group meets weekly and offers attendees the chance to meet […]

find out more
Halton News

Reach Magazine autumn 2020 and Annual Report ...

2nd October 2020

Our autumn edition of Reach magazine is out now! Reach is a great way for you to find out more about what we have been up to in your community so you can see how we are fulfilling our vision of “improving people’s lives”. In this autumn edition, we have also included our Annual Report […]

find out more
Halton Housing Customer Engagement Team with Youth Justice Services Team
Halton News

New gardening equipment for Youth Justice Ser...

25th September 2020

We have made a donation over £300 to Cheshire Youth Justice Services (YJS) to purchase gardening equipment and tools to help maintain and tidy grassed areas in the borough. Covering the whole of Cheshire, YJS works with children and young people to help prevent them from getting into further trouble, supporting them to lead a […]

find out more
accessibilityalert align-leftanti_socialinfo-Asset 3 arrow_down_thicker_no_fillarrow_down_white arrow_down_whitearrow_downarrow_leftarrow_rightarrow_up_accordion arrow_up_tail article Untitled-1info-Asset 4 tenancycalendar calendarcameracard clockcollaborationcomment computerAsset 4 cross_arrows crosscurves document down_arrowdownload-2duohouseAsset 2emote_1 emote_2 emote_3 emote_4 emote_5 figured_arrowsUntitled-2flaggradient_briefcase info-Asset 5 helphh Untitled-2Untitled-3house_helpicon_additional_incomeicon_alcoholicon_benefitsicon_bettingicon_car_insuranceicon_child_benefitsicon_childcareAsset 1 icon_clothingicon_council_taxAsset 4 icon_electricityicon_gasicon_groceryicon_gymAsset 5 icon_home_insuranceicon_iAsset 3 icon_petrolAsset 1 icon_renticon_takeawaysicon_total_incomeicon_travel_feesicon_tvWage after Taxicon_waterinnovative_stacked innovative key_features keyholderleft_arrowinfo-Asset 5 Group 2Created with Sketch. ShapeCreated with Sketch. LineCreated with Sketch. live_chatUntitled-3 megaphonemessagemouse new_homes partnership_stacked partnership pause Page 1Created with Sketch. pen info-Asset 9 percentagepersontickpet_iconinfo-Asset 6 pin plant_iconplay Asset 2 info-Asset 7 promises_stacked promises property_overview qualrespect_stacked respect right_arrow_whiteright_arrowsearch Untitled-3slider_next slider_prev smileyFacebook Google Plus Instagram social_linkedin Pinterest Twitter YouTube socialUntitled-3square_triangle Untitled-3info-Asset 8 triangle-left Untitled-2 wifi-glyph-24