As we continue the roadmap out of lockdown and more businesses re-open, Hull City Council is continuing 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 to spread is increased substantially, so it is critical that businesses shouldn’t become complacent. They still need to have COVID-secure measures in place.
Spot checks and inspections are carried out via calls and visits to all types of businesses to check that measures they’ve put 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.
Angela Storey, director of transformation and operational services at HSE, said: “As we come out of lockdown, we are continuing to work with local authorities to check businesses are COVID-secure and providing guidance and advice where needed.
“Our spot checks and inspections support the cross-government work in helping employers and employees that have worked throughout the pandemic and those returning as lockdown measures ease.
“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 to check they are COVID-secure.
“If you are contacted by the HSE or Hull City council please engage with us.
“By checking 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.”
The COVID-secure measures 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 providing 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
Councillor Gwen Lunn, portfolio holder for public health and public protection at 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.
“All business should have COVID-secure measures in place. 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 be COVID-secure. We ask employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community. As changes come throughout the next few months and businesses reopen, our responsibility is to make sure that all measures continue to be taken to keep workers safe as they return to the workplace.”