Health and safety Covid spot checks – is your business prepared?

April 12th saw non-essential retail outlets, pubs and bars, hairdressers, beauticians, and public buildings, such as libraries, opening their doors once more. And, as of 17th May most businesses, except those in the highest risk sectors, will have been able to reopen. There is undoubtedly a high focus on ensuring businesses are Covid safe for both customers and employees. We therefore wanted to remind you of the possibility that you may receive a Health and Safety Executive spot check.

Since last year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been carrying out spot checks and inspections on all types of businesses, in all areas, to ensure they are Covid-secure. They are making calls so that they can give expert advice on how to manage the risks and protect workers, customers, and suppliers.

By calling and visiting the premises of businesses that have reopened or remained re-opened during lockdown, they will speak to employers to check the measures they have put in place are in line with Government guidance.

HSE Inspectors make Covid-secure checks as part of their normal role in visiting workplaces during the pandemic. To ensure they reach as many workplaces as possible nationally and help support their core role, they are working with trained and approved partners to deliver spot checks.

Inspectors from approved partners that visit premises will be carrying identification from their business and a letter of authorisation from the HSE. If you want to verify the authenticity of an inspector that calls or visits your business, you can call 0300 790 6896.

If you receive a call or spot check you should participate fully. Failure to do so could lead to enforcement action.

As well as participating in the visits, it is important you should take steps to help keep your workplace Covid-secure. This includes:

• Carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment
• Maintaining social distancing
• Keeping your workplace clean with handwashing and hygiene procedures

There has been a rise in local papers reporting spot checks in their areas. We’d therefore advise you ensure that you’re following Covid guidelines, so you’re prepared on the off chance that the HSE drop by your business.