COVID SPOT CHECKS HAPPENING NOW ON LEICESTER BUSINESSES BY HSE
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is out on the ground telling businesses in Leicester that they need to become COVID-secure.
The HSE is working alongside Leicester City Council in the regulation of workplace health and safety and alongside local public health authorities. It is to support the understanding of any patterns in the disease in Leicester. Inspectors are out and about across the city and surrounding areas, putting employers on the spot and checking that they are complying with the latest guidance.
To be COVID-secure mean businesses need to put in place workplace adjustments, keep up to date with the latest guidance and put measures in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others.
There are five practical steps that businesses can take to do that:
- carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
- develop increased cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
- take all reasonable steps to help people work from home
- maintain 2m social distancing where possible
- where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk.
Samantha Wells, HSE inspector, said: “Becoming COVID-secure should be the priority for all businesses, but particularly those operating in Leicester given the growing outbreak. By law, employers have a duty to protect workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. It’s important that workers are aware of the measures that will be put in place to help them work safely. Ensuring workplaces are COVID-secure will not only reassure and increase confidence with workers, but also customers, partners and the local community.”
As inspections are ongoing, HSE has been utilising a number of different ways to gather intelligence and reach out to businesses. A combination of site visits, phone calls and through collection of supporting visual evidence such as photos and video footage have been used.
Some of the most common issues that HSE and local authority inspectors are finding include:
- failing to provide arrangements for monitoring,
- supervising and maintaining social distancing,
- failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime, particularly at busy times of the day.
- and providing access to welfare facilities to allow employees to frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap.
HSE will support businesses by providing advice and guidance
However where some employers are not managing the risk. HSE will take action which can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe. Where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.
Samantha continued: “All sectors and business of all sizes are in scope for inspections. We will ask questions of duty holders to understand how they are managing risks. We understand that the vast majority of employers want to make their workplaces secure. They are doing everything they can to keep people and their business safe and healthy.
“Ultimately, becoming COVID-secure benefits the health of our nation; the health of our communities, the health of local businesses in Leicester, and the health of the UK economy. As a nation and as a City, we can’t afford not to become COVID-secure.”
For the latest information and relevant safer workplaces guidance, see www.gov.uk
Find out more about making your office ready to return to work here.