East Cambridgeshire District Council is working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contact operational businesses within the district to check they continue to have the necessary COVID-secure measures in place and to help tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) in the local area.
During the checks, advice and guidance will be provided to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors. Where some businesses are not managing this, immediate action will be taken. This can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.
Being COVID-secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus.
Councillor David Ambrose Smith, chairman of the Operational Services Committee for East Cambridgeshire District Council, said:
“HSE will be talking to local businesses that are currently open and visiting and inspecting sites in and around East Cambridgeshire to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.
“Being COVID-secure needs to be the priority for all businesses, it is a legal duty for businesses to protect their workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. For some, this may mean reviewing their currently procedures and making additional business adjustments to be COVID-secure.
“All businesses are in scope for spot checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check to ensure they are COVID-secure.
“Throughout the past year our environmental health officers have been privy to some exemplar procedures which have been put in place by East Cambs businesses, however businesses do have a responsibility to continually review whether their processes are fit for purpose to make employees and customers feel safe.
“We advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence in workers, customers and the local community.”
HSE has found some common issues across a range of sectors, that include failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, and failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime particularly at busy times of the day.
For further information on how to manage the risk of coronavirus in different business sectors please read the government guidance.