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COVID-secure HSE inspections, Tightening of Restrictions for Retail in Wales and Additional Advice for Construction Workplaces.

January 2021

HSE COVID-secure inspections

If your business is open during the current lockdown then please be aware that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is continuing to conduct spot checks and inspections, and in fact are increasing the number of calls and visits to check that COVID-secure measures have been implemented in accordance with Government guidance. More information on the spot checks and inspections can be found on the HSE website.

It is crucial that the workplace is COVID-secure, meaning that you are keeping up to date with the latest guidance and that you have put measures in place to manage the risk and protect workers, visitors and customers. An important part of this process is to complete regular risk assessments of your workplace. Each time that there is a change in Government guidance you should review your Covid-19 risk assessment forms, to check that your business is still managing the risk and that the measures that your business has put in place are being followed.

Recommendations from the Construction Leadership Council.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has recommended that where possible workers should try not to share a vehicle with those outside the household or support bubble.

If workers have no option but to share transport, they should try to:

  • share with the same individuals and with the minimum number of people (up to a maximum of 6) at any one time;
  • keep the windows open;
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow;
  • maximize the distance between people;
  • wear a face covering; and
  • the vehicle should be cleaned between journeys, especially touch points, using gloves and standard cleaning products.

It is also recommended that site personnel do not eat their lunch in shared vehicles.

New rules for retail premises in Wales from 20th January 2021.

All retail stores in Wales are required to:

  • introduce measures for controlling entry to the premises and limiting the number of customers who are on the premises at any one time;
  • provide hand sanitisation products or hand washing facilities for use by customers when they enter and exit the premises;
  • introduce measures to sanitise any baskets, trolleys or similar containers provided for use by customers on the premises;
  • remind customers to maintain distance of 2m between each other and wear a face covering. This should be done by displaying signs and other visual aids and making announcements on a regular basis.

The COVID-19 Return to Work Shop Example Risk Assessment Form has been updated to include tighter measures in respect of the above.

Carrying out a COVID-19 Risk Assessment

The worked example risk assessment forms are designed to help assessors get started when they carry out a risk assessment for their particular premises and should only be used as a guide/hints list when applying the COVID-19 Return to Work Blank Risk Assessment Form to their own particular locations. The Blank Risk Assessment Form is available in the COVID-19 Return To Work Risk Assessment documents. The idea of these worked examples is to prompt the identification of hazards, those at risk, controls undertaken and further actions. These worked examples are based on hypothetical situations.

It is imperative that any risk assessment is specific to each business, location, department and staff member and that all measures, controls and actions are carried out and not just recorded on the form. It is important to make sure that “you have done enough” in your risk assessment.

These documents are also available in the Employment Documents Folder .

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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