OLDHAM Council is working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out spot checks on businesses across the borough to make sure they are COVID-secure, helping to stop the virus spreading.
The initiative, coupled with spot checks already being undertaken by the council’s Environmental Health team will ensure that businesses are compliant with government guidance.
During the checks businesses and firms will be given advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors.
Where businesses are not managing this, the council will take action.
This can range from giving specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, prosecution.
Councillor Arooj Shah, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Coronavirus Response, said: “We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.
“Being COVID-secure needs to be the priority for all businesses in Oldham.
“It’s 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 businesses will have to make adjustments to become COVID-secure.
“We advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes. This will to help increase confidence for 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.
Cllr Shah added: “All businesses can be spot checked – it doesn’t matter about how many people are employed or the sector. Yours could receive an unannounced check to ensure its COVID-secure.
“By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of our residents and workers as well as support the local economy.”
For the latest information and safer business guidance, see www.gov.uk