COVID spot checks on businesses continue as lockdown measures ease
Published on 25th May 2021
Council officers continue to talk to local businesses about COVID secure measures and carry out spot checks and inspections
As we continue the roadmap out of lock down and more businesses re-open, council officers continue to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out spot checks and inspections on local businesses.
The reopening of the economy means that the opportunity for COVID-19 to spread is increased, so it is critical that businesses do not become complacent. COVID-secure measures need to be in place.
Spot checks and inspections are carried out via calls and visits to all types of businesses to check that the measures in place to manage the risk from coronavirus, are in line with current guidance. This includes businesses that have continued to operate throughout the pandemic, those that have recently reopened, and those due to open in the coming weeks.
Bernadette Reed, interim public and environmental health team leader, said: “Businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check from HSE or an inspection from our officers to check they are COVID-secure.
“The checks ensure that businesses have measures in place to manage risks and keep people safe as well as supporting the local economy.”
Cllr Martin Horwood, cabinet member for customer and regulatory services, continued: “We all want to see the back of lockdown but we have to do it safely. The virus is going to be around for a long time.
“Our team will be talking to local businesses and visiting and inspecting sites across Cheltenham to understand how they’re managing risks in the ways that best suit their particular businesses.
“It’s a legal duty for businesses to protect their workers and others from harm, and they still have to take reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from Covid.
“We’re advising employers to work with their employees when implementing changes so that we can build up confidence amongst employees, customers and the local community. As more changes come in over the next few months and more businesses reopen, we have to make sure everything is done to keep workers safe as they return to the workplace.”
The COVID-secure measures that businesses should have in place include:
- Risk assessment: every workplace should have a COVID risk assessment. Update it to reflect any changes in legislation or guidance that may impact your work activity
- Social distancing: where possible you should keep people two metres apart. If this is not viable, keeping one metre apart with risk mitigation is acceptable
- Cleaning, hygiene and handwashing: keeping your workplace clean reduces the potential for coronavirus to spread. It is a critical part of making and keeping your business COVID-secure
- Ventilation and air conditioning can help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus
- Talk to workers: provide information about support and maintaining control measures
- Working from home: provide the equipment they need, keep in regular contact and discuss their wellbeing
- Vulnerable workers: talk to staff, provide information and consider the risk to workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus – putting controls in place to reduce that risk.
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HSE Coronavirus (Covid-19) working safely information can be found at www.hse.gov.uk