East Suffolk Council is continuing to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contact businesses in East Suffolk to ensure they are protecting staff, customers and visitors from coronavirus.
As part of work which has been ongoing throughout the pandemic, officers from East Suffolk Council’s Food and Safety Team are working closely with HSE to carry out checks on local businesses to make sure they are Covid-secure.
During these checks, businesses are provided with advice and guidance on managing risk and protecting their workers, customers and visitors. Where some businesses are not managing this, officers will take immediate action. 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, this could lead to prosecution.
Officers have been working with HSE for several months, checking hundreds of shops and workplaces across a range of different business sectors. Many of East Suffolk’s hospitality businesses, food retailers, care homes, warehouses, taxi offices and close contact services such as beauty salons and hairdressers have been submitted to the programme. The next cohort of businesses, starting this week, are businesses based at the Port of Felixstowe.
Cllr Mary Rudd, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Community Health said: “We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites across East Suffolk to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity. Many will already have the correct measures in place but other businesses may welcome some more help to ensure they are doing all that they can to protect staff and customers.
“Being Covid-secure is a 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 does require some adjustments and we advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.”
HSE and council inspectors are finding some common issues, including 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.
If you receive a telephone call from the HSE and would like to check that it is a genuine call, you can contact HSE’s Concerns and Advice Team on 0300 790 6896.
For the latest information and safer business guidance, see www.gov.uk/coronavirus