UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) urges businesses to become COVID-secure
The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urgently calling for businesses in Great Britain to make sure they are COVID-secure as more sectors open their doors this weekend.
HSE Inspectors are out and about, putting employers on the spot and checking that they are complying with health and safety law. Being COVID-secure means being adaptable to the current guidance and putting measures in place to control the risk of coronavirus to protect workers and others.
There are five practical steps that businesses can take to do that:
- Step 1. carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment in line with HSE guidance
- Step 2. develop increased cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
- Step 3. take all reasonable steps to help people work from home
- Step 4. maintain 2m social distancing where possible
- Step 5. where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk.
Philip White, Director of Regulation at HSE said: “Becoming COVID-secure should be the priority for all businesses. By law, employers have a duty to protect workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. It’s important that workers are aware of the measures that will be put in place to help them work safely.
“Ensuring workplaces are COVID-secure will not only reassure and increase confidence with workers, but also customers, partners and the local community. Nobody wants lockdown measures to be reversed and the Government has made clear that it will not hesitate to do so if the virus is not properly controlled.”
As inspections are ongoing, HSE has been utilising a number of different ways to gather intelligence and reach out to businesses with a combination of site visits, phone calls and through collection of supporting visual evidence such as photos and video footage.
Some of the most common issues that HSE and local authority inspectors are finding include: failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime – particularly at busy times of the day – and providing access to welfare facilities to allow employees to frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap.
HSE will support businesses by providing advice and guidance; however where some employers are not managing the risk, HSE will take action which 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.
Philip continued: “All sectors and business of all sizes are in scope for inspections and we will ask questions of duty holders to understand how they are managing risks. We understand that the vast majority of employers want to make their workplaces secure and are doing everything they can to keep people and their business safe and healthy.
“Ultimately, becoming COVID-secure benefits the health of our nation; the health of our communities, of businesses and the health of the UK economy. As a nation, we cannot afford not to become COVID-secure.”
For the latest information and relevant safer workplaces guidance, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19
OSH UPDATE + FIRE
These new findings, new research reports, new legislation and new articles and guidance will be included in the ever increasing in size OSH UPDATE + FIRE collection www.oshupdate.com
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The 26 databases and contents are from worldwide class organisations such as the US NIOSH, the UK Health and Safety Executive, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and many more similar global organisations.
All organisations worldwide need to really review their health and safety goals for 2020 and decide on the training or re-training that is needed for all levels of staff and definitely update their information resources.
Check out these successful efforts that are in OSH UPDATE + FIRE and OSHWORLD and introduce them into your workplace!
It is always good to keep researching and finding out if there are services and other ways of keeping up to date in this fast-changing world of ours.
Time is precious and many people are really stretched in their jobs and find it difficult to keep ahead in current knowledge that they should have for their jobs.
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Meetings and events are on hold worldwide because of the Coronavirus pandemic – but optimistically many events are being arranged for months ahead. Look at the details – where possible, we add in the web sites of these events so you can request further information. And do let me know if you are organising any OSHE events so that these can be added to the OSHWORLD Diary.
This month’s OSHWORLD FOCUS is UK Workplace fatality figures released for 2019/20.
OSHWORLD – your portal to some great OSH and FIRE web sites in the world
Wherever you are in the world have a look at your health, safety, chemical, fire and environment procedures in your workplace and update them. Your review may also indicate training requirements and re-thinking how systems and services can be improved. This is where the free-of-charge OSHWORLD can help you.
In addition to the above we hope that you find the information in OSHWORLD useful in your daily work. Globally there are continually new titles, news items, new products so remember to look at the News to find the latest information from a range of worldwide sources.
Use OSHWORLD as your portal to many hundreds of validated and authoritative web sites that you can find in the Country and Subject links we offer. New subject topics are constantly brought together on web sites, e.g. nanotechnology and the workplace.
Most information services have a reference shelf where you can quickly check the reference sources – so OSHWORLD brings you a collection of Reference sources and also teaches you how to Search the Internet.
Visit the various Bookshops to order any new document as they are being published. Many of these Bookshops have a constant stream of new titles available.
Please send any suggestions or comments about OSHWORLD – your portal to validated and authoritative information. Remember also to look at our other really useful sites – www.sheilapantry.com and why not make a free entry about your company’s products in www.shebuyersguide.com.
Don’t forget to learn from history – visit
An invaluable resource for students, lecturers, trainers, health and safety professionals and others with a general interest in industrial history, the site sets out developments from the 1802 Factory Act all the way through to the most recent regulatory changes made by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Also visit www.sheilapantry.com/memorial
Don’t work harder – work smarter! Be ahead of the game.
Well did you have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy 2019 in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying again in 2020 and finding new ways of working in the COVID-19/Coronavirus world.