As some sectors of the economy prepare to reopen following a long and difficult lockdown, the Health & Safety Executive said that businesses need to remain vigilant and make sure their COVID-secure measures, as well as other health and safety measures, are in place to protect workers, visitors and others.
Key points to consider for businesses reopening as lockdown measures ease
Being COVID-secure means being adaptable to the current guidance and having measures in place to manage the risk of coronavirus.
Key points for businesses to consider:
Remember your COVID risk assessment
All businesses must continue to update their COVID-secure risk assessment to make sure they’re in line with the latest government guidance.
Renewed vigour on COVID-secure measures
All businesses must have COVID-secure measures in place and must make sure that everyone is following them to manage the risks of COVID-19.
This includes social distancing, frequent cleaning, good hand hygiene and ventilation. You should also talk to staff and provide information, and consider the risk to workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus and put controls in place to reduce that risk.
Mental health and wellbeing
Returning to the workplace may be difficult for some employees making them more susceptible to workplace stress. Talking to your employees is important in managing these concerns.
With infection rates dropping businesses should not become complacent
All businesses must prioritise their COVID-secure measures to maintain the safety of their staff, visitors and customers.
As many businesses have been closed for a significant period of time, as part of their plans to re-open safely, there are many factors they should consider as they put in place health and safety measures to protect workers, visitors and others.
HSE said it continues to carry out spot checks and inspections on businesses in all sectors and regions to check they have COVID-secure measures in place. This includes businesses that have been operating throughout the pandemic, and those that are starting to reopen.
HSE said: “During the spot checks and inspections, advice and guidance will be provided to help manage risk and protect workers and visitors, but where 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, it could lead to prosecution.”