Wednesday, March 17, 2021

News: Making sure Rotherham businesses are COVID-secure


Rotherham Council is working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contact businesses in Rotherham to check they have COVID-secure measures in place and to help tackle COVID-19 in the local area as part of a national campaign.

The Council and HSE will also work alongside local public health authorities to highlight any patterns in confirmed coronavirus cases in the borough.

The checks are part of the additional resource from central government for local authorities to make sure that businesses are as COVID-safe as possible. During the checks, businesses will be given advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers, and visitors from COVID-19.

Businesses who do not engage with the HSE inspections or require additional measures putting in place will get further support from the Council. 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 enforcement.

Being COVID-secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus.

Denise Fedyszyn, COVID-19 Service Manager at Rotherham Council, said: “Council Officers are talking to local businesses, and visiting sites in and around Rotherham to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.

“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 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.”

MGB Plastics is one Rotherham business that has received an unannounced visit from the HSE to carry out a spot check. After the visit the inspector said: "In all respects, your business is following the appropriate guidance. I could see that a great deal of effort has been made by the management team and by all the workers to ensure that your business is a safe place to work, and that everything is being done to minimise the risk of infection from COVID at the business.”

HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common practices that need continued vigour to prevent transmission including arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, and robust cleaning regime particularly at busy times of the day.

Sharon Kemp, Chief Executive at Rotherham Council, said: “It is critical that all businesses continue to be extremely in their COVID Secure ways of working. Businesses can be spot checked 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.”

Images: HSE


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