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Gloucestershire Business News

Covid spot checks on businesses continue

As lockdown eases and more businesses reopen, council staff are working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out spot checks and inspections.

The reopening of the economy means the opportunity for Covid-19 to spread is increased, so it is essential that businesses don't become complacent and Covid-secure measures are in place.

Spot checks and inspections are carried out via calls and visits to all types of businesses to check that the measures in place to manage the risk from coronavirus are in line with current guidance. This includes businesses that have continued to operate throughout the pandemic, those that have recently reopened and those due to open in the coming weeks.

Bernadette Reed, interim public and environmental health team leader at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "Businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check from HSE or an inspection from our officers to check they are Covid-secure.

"The checks ensure that businesses have measures in place to manage risks and keep people safe, as well as supporting the local economy."

Cllr Martin Horwood, cabinet member for customer and regulatory services, said: "We all want to see the back of lockdown, but we have to do it safely. The virus is going to be around for a long time.

"Our team will be talking to local businesses and visiting and inspecting sites across Cheltenham to understand how they're managing risks in the ways that best suit their particular businesses.

"It's a legal duty for businesses to protect their workers and others from harm, and they still have to take reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from Covid.

"We're advising employers to work with their employees when implementing changes so that we can build up confidence amongst employees, customers and the local community. As more changes come in over the next few months and more businesses reopen, we have to make sure everything is done to keep workers safe as they return to the workplace."

The Covid-secure measures that businesses should have in place include:

• A Covid risk assessment, updated regularly to reflect changes in legislation or guidance

• Social distancing

• Cleaning, hygiene and handwashing

• Ventilation and air conditioning

• Information for workers about support and maintaining control measures

• Working from home - provide the equipment staff need, keep in regular contact and discuss their wellbeing

• Consider the risk to workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus and put controls in place to reduce that risk

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