Barnsley Council is working in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contact the borough’s businesses to check they have COVID-secure measures in place and to help tackle COVID-19 in the local area.
This includes business like shops, pubs and leisure centres that local communities use and are crucial to the local economy.
HSE is also working alongside local public health colleagues to support the understanding of any patterns in confirmed coronavirus cases in the area.
During the checks carried out by HSE representatives, advice and guidance are provided to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors, but where some businesses are not managing this, immediate action will be taken.
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, could lead to prosecution.
Being COVID-secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus. For further information on how to manage the risk of COVID-19 in different business sectors, please read the government guidance.
Barnsley Director of Public Health, Julia Burrows, said: “HSE officers are talking to local businesses, and visiting and inspecting sites in and around Barnsley to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.
“Being COVID-secure needs to continue to be the priority for all businesses in Barnsley; 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.”
HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of sectors that 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.
Matt Gladstone, Executive Director for Place, added: “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. 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.”