St Helens Borough Council is working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contact businesses in the borough to make sure they are Covid-secure and to help tackle Covid-19 in the area.
The work is part of the close relationship with public health teams to support the understanding of any patterns in confirmed coronavirus cases in the area.
During the checks HSE and the council provide advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors but where some businesses are not managing this, immediate action will be taken. This can range from 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. For further information on how to manage the risk of coronavirus in different business sectors please read the government guidance.
Councillor Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites in St Helens Borough 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 in our borough, 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.”
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, and failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime particularly at busy times of the day.
Councillor Bell added: “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. By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of the local community as well as support the local and national UK economy.”
For the latest information and safer business guidance, see www.gov.uk