In the next few weeks, Buckinghamshire Council’s environmental health teams will be working in collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out COVID-Secure spot checks on business premises where we are responsible for enforcing health and safety legislation and making COVID checks.
All businesses are in scope for these spot checks. So any businesses of any size, in any sector could get an unannounced check to ensure they are aware of the COVID-secure guidance that applies to their business, and that they are acting upon it.
HSE will deliver COVID spot checks over the telephone in two stages; first will be an assessment of the level of COVID awareness your business has and the control measures you have in place. For businesses where there are concerns, you will get a follow-up call from HSE to assess those concerns and, where required, they will be passed over to Buckinghamshire Council’s enforcement teams to do a follow-up visit.
The idea behind the spot checks is to be supportive and, where required, provide help by suggesting improvements. But, where businesses are not managing the risk, the teams will take immediate action ranging from giving you specific advice through to issuing enforcement notices or stopping certain work practices until they are made safe. If your business fails to comply, you could be prosecuted.
HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of sectors that 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
Making your workplace COVID-secure
This guidance from HSE for employers gives an overview of the things you should do to help make your work and workplace COVID-secure. It includes information on:
- Risk assessments
- Social distancing
- Cleaning, hygiene and handwashing
- Talking to workers and providing information
- Working from home
- Vulnerable workers
For further information on how to manage the risk of coronavirus in different business sectors please read government guidance here >