As more businesses re-open in Wrexham we’re aiming to make sure that all measures are taken by employers to keep their workers safe as we enter Covid-19 alert level 2.
We’re now working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to undertake COVID-19 spot checks on businesses. The checks will to be supportive of businesses by helping them to manage the risks of the virus.
We’ll make sure that businesses are aware of all that’s required of them and give advice where shortfalls are identified.
Make sure you know about changes to Covid-19 restrictions in Wales
Businesses owners and managers are encouraged to engage with their workers (and employee representatives such as Unions) when putting changes in place to help keep everyone safe.
It’s a duty for businesses to keep their workers safe
Putting in place effective COVID-19 control measures remains a priority for all businesses, it is a legal duty for businesses to keep their workers and others safe from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from Coronavirus. We know many local employers are working very hard to achieve this and the campaign should help provide further assurance in this regard.
However, we cannot be complacent, and the challenge to prevent the spread of Coronavirus continues.
During the calls and visits, advice and guidance will be provided, but, where businesses are not managing this process effectively, action will be taken. This can range from offering advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses continue to fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.
Nationally, the HSE and local authorities are finding some common issues across a number of businesses, 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.
It has also been found that while some businesses often start out well in putting measures in place, they can become less rigorous over time about ensuring measures, such as social distancing, are adequately maintained.
“We know how much pressure businesses are under”
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Leader of the Council, said “This isn’t an exercise in catching businesses out. We know how much pressure businesses are under and we want to support them through what continues to be a challenging time”.
“We believe that the majority of local businesses are doing their best and these checks will help businesses understand what is required of them and to receive suggestions for improvements where needed”.
“Only in cases where businesses are not managing the risks will follow-up action be taken.”
The spot check campaign will commence from 07.06.21.
If you receive a call or visit from HSE or our enforcement officers, please take the time to take part in the check. It’s being done in the interest of public health and safety and not doing so will mean HSE or Council officers will need to follow up the lack of engagement.
We hope the campaign will help build confidence with the local business community and the wider public that businesses can operate safely, supporting the government’s approach to rebuilding the economy, whilst protecting public health.
The checks could take the form of a telephone call or unannounced visit which would be made direct to a business by HSE; who also works with a range of partners to deliver the check service.
HSE representatives will carry identification and a letter of authorisation. There will also be a phone number to ring should any business need additional assurance that the identity of an individual carrying out checks is genuine.
For further information on how to manage the risk of coronavirus in different sectors, businesses should refer to the HSE and Welsh Government guidance on their respective websites.
Coronavirus hasn’t gone away – let’s continue to work together to keep Wrexham and Wales safe.
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