Businesses will be getting more help to become COVID-secure, thanks to new support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Plymouth City Council’s public protection team has already been working closely with businesses to help them reopen safely after the COVID-19 lockdown - and to keep up to speed with the changing safety measures.

The Council has been putting feet on the street across the city to talk face to masked face with businesses about their issues and to offer supportive advice.

Over 170 businesses have been visited generally and a further 130 visited as part of the Council’s feet on the street campaign, targeting different parts of the city to talk to as many business owners as possible.

The team has also dealt with over 900 enquiries via phone and email and has been updating businesses across the board with guidance, toolkits and signs to help guide companies of all sizes through the changing measures.

Many have welcomed and responded to this approach by introducing measures to keep themselves and their customers safe and open during the ongoing pandemic.

Now there are plans to build on this work with the support from the HSE. From 12 October, the HSE will be contacting the city’s pubs, barbers and hair salons by phone to run through measures in place and COVID-19 procedures.

The HSE callers will provide advice and guidance to help manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors. Where some businesses are not managing this, further action may be taken.

Being COVID-secure means that businesses must make adjustments to their risk assessments and procedures to manage risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus.

Director for Public Health Ruth Harrell said:  “We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites around Plymouth constantly to better 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 Plymouth as it is a legal duty for businesses to protect their workers and others from harm .This includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus.

“We advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.”

Common issues are cropping up across a range of sectors 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.

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