Following the introduction of checks to local ensure supermarkets and similar shops have Covid-secure measures in place, Hull City Council’s Public Protection Team is to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to expand the checks to all types of businesses.
Calls, visits and inspections will be undertaken to make sure protections are in place for employees and where relevant visitors and customers.
Beginning this week, the checks will see businesses given advice and guidance if needed and the HSE has said action will be taken ‘immediately’ in cases where risks are not being safely managed.
Rachel Stephenson, Head of Public Protection for Hull City Council said: “We will be talking to local businesses and visiting and inspecting sites across Hull to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.
“Becoming 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.
“This means making business adjustments to become COVID-secure. We advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.”
Cllr Mike Thompson, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, said: “We know our local businesses have had to implement changes quickly and work hard to ensure they meet government standards.
“The relatively low number of outbreaks in businesses and the way they have been dealt with where they have occurred is a reflection of how seriously Coronavirus has been treated across all sectors.
“These visits will help reinforce the importance of robust safety measures and identify any improvements which need to be made. Our officers will be working closely with the HSE and action will be taken if serious risks are found.
“The aim of these visits is to protect anyone working at or visiting businesses, as well as those in the wider community who could be affected by a case or outbreak resulting from poor safety measures”.
Being COVID-secure means businesses need to keep up to date with the latest guidance and put measures in place to manage the risk and protect workers, visitors and customers.
During the calls and visits, HSE provides advice and guidance, but where businesses are not managing the risk, immediate action will be taken.
Angela Storey, Director of Transformation and Operational Services at HSE said: “Across the country we are working with local authorities, like Hull City Council, to check businesses are COVID-secure and providing support and advice where needed.
“Our spot checks and inspections support the cross-government work in helping employers and employees at work during the pandemic.
“All workplaces are in scope for spot checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check from HSE or an inspection from the local authority, to check they are COVID-secure.
“If you are contacted by the HSE or your local authority, please engage with us.
“By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of local communities as well as support the local and national UK economy.”