Sefton Council has joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to build upon the work that has already been done to make sure the Borough’s businesses are COVID-secure.
From Monday, to help tackle the spread of coronavirus spot checks will be carried out on businesses in the Borough to ensure they are managing their COVID-19 response and control measures in line with current government guidelines.
The HSE will be supporting the Council’s Environmental Health enforcement teams’ local efforts to help protect staff, customers and visitors from infection. Checks, in the form of phone calls and follow-up visits will focus on businesses in the hospitality, beauty & hairdressing and the warehousing sectors where the Council has responsibility for the enforcement of health and safety legislation.
During the checks, advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors will be provided. Where businesses are not managing, immediate action including enforcement notices and stopping certain work practices until they are made safe, could be taken. Businesses that fail or refuse to comply could face prosecution.
Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites across Sefton to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.
“Becoming COVID-secure is a legal duty and needs to be the priority and we know the vast majority of our local businesses are trying hard to get this right by putting the necessary measure in place.
“We appreciate the efforts business owners and managers are making and have undertaken this work with the HSE to provide any further advice and support they may need.”
HSE and local authority inspectors report they have been 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. Bosses are being encouraged to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.
Cllr Lappin continued: “All businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check to ensure they are COVID-secure although we will be focusing on the sectors we think will be most likely to benefit from this help.
“Making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks and prevent the spread of coronavirus will help reduce the chances of a second local lockdown and the harmful effect that will have on Sefton’s economy.”