PUBLIC safety officers from Leicester City Council are working with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to contact businesses in Leicester and make sure they are covid-secure.
Working alongside colleagues from the city council’s public health team, officers will be providing advice and guidance to help businesses manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors.
Where some businesses are not managing this, the city council will take immediate action. This can include the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices and stopping certain work practices until they are made safe. Where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.
Being covid-secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus. Government guidance is available for different business sectors on the gov.uk website.
Cllr Piara Singh Clair, deputy city mayor responsible for regulatory services, said: “We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites in and around Leicester to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity. This is particularly important as infection rates are on the rise in Leicester, just as they are all across the country.
“Everyone needs to do their bit to stop the spread of coronavirus and we are asking businesses to ensure they are covid-secure as a priority – it is their legal duty to do so.
“We advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community. 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.”
HSE and local authority officers are finding some common issues across a range of sectors. These 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.
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.
Similar work has already been undertaken in other parts of the county and although this is still in progress, early reports from Charnwood Borough, Harborough District and Melton Borough Councils are positive. The HSE has contacted around 250 premises in these areas and only a handful require further intervention by the relevant local authority.
For the latest information and safer business guidance, see www.gov.uk/coronavirus