Spot checks on Newham businesses to ensure they stick to Covid-19 rules

A member of the public wears a face mask. Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The town hall and Health and Safety Executive have teamed up to carry out spot checks on Newham businesses. - Credit: PA

A health and safety watchdog is making unannounced spot checks to ensure businesses stick to Covid rules.

Newham Council has teamed up with workplace watchdog the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the checks as firms are called on to help tackle the virus.

Cllr James Beckles

Cllr James Beckles. - Credit: TULO

Cllr James Beckles, cabinet member for crime and community safety, said: "Becoming Covid-secure needs to be the priority for all businesses.

"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 community."

He added that the town hall is talking to businesses and inspecting sites in and around the borough to understand how they manage risks.

During checks the HSE gives advice and guidance in part aimed at protecting workers, customers and visitors.

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For businesses which are not complying, the town hall has threatened immediate action. This may include enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices, and if businesses fail to comply, prosecution.

To be Covid-secure businesses need to put measures in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus.

But inspectors from the HSE and local authority have found common issues across a range of sectors.

These include failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing.

Another includes failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime at busy times of the day.

Cllr Beckles said: “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 businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of the community as well as support the local and national UK economy.”