Basildon Council is working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contact businesses in the borough to make sure they are COVID-secure and to help tackle coronavirus in the local area.

The council is also working alongside local public health authorities to support the understanding of any patterns in confirmed coronavirus cases in the area.

During the checks, advice and guidance is provided to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors but where some businesses are not managing this, we will take immediate action. 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 prosecution.

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

The Leader of Basildon Council, Councillor Gavin Callaghan, said: "We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites in and around Basildon to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.

"Becoming COVID-secure needs to be the priority for all businesses in the borough, 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."

"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."

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.

ENDS

Published on Tuesday 23 February 2021