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Environmental Health

Environmental Health

Covid-19 Control Measures for Businesses

In order to continue to move through the phases of the Route Map, there is a responsibility for everyone to continue to comply with Covid-19 control measures to minimise the risk of transmission:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have Covid-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste)

Legal requirement for businesses

  • to ensure that a distance of two metres is maintained between any persons on the premises (except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
  • to ensure that they only admit people to its premises in sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain that distance
  • to ensure that a distance of two metres is maintained between any person waiting to enter the premises (except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
  • to ensure face coverings are worn by customers and staff where mandatory

Businesses operators must take a responsible attitude to these vital health protection rules and should look critically at their operations to ensure they take all reasonable measures so that workers and anyone else on the premises stay at least 2m from each other.

As well as Coronavirus Legislation, business operators have further legal obligations to protect their staff under health and safety legislation, which must also be complied with.

Please see the following link for Health and Safety advice relating to Coronavirus in the workplace.

You can also refer to the HSE's step-by-step guide detailed in their Making your workplace Covid-secure page for businesses preparing to re-open. This guide covers: risk assessment, talking with workers, PPE, cleaning and hygiene. We also have some tips for businesses preparing to reopen.

Re-opening Businesses

Planning for a restart to be a joint effort between employers and employees with both parties fully contributing as part of an ongoing commitment to work together in ensuring a safe workplace. A risk based approach should be followed to protect health and safety of employees and ensure safe working practices which are essential to ensure businesses can effectively restart and trade through the phases.

Five Top Tips for a successful and safe re-start:

1.  Employees and Risk Assessment

Engage with your staff and review your risk assessments together:

  • Ensure everyone is clear on their role and the procedures
  • Set up steps to monitor that your controls are followed every day. Record what you have done to monitor
  • Think about the need for work cohorts(bubbles)
  • Make sure everyone can get to work and return home safely

2.  Utility Services

Ensure utility services (e.g. gas, electricity or water supplies) are safe for re-opening. Water stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing risk of Legionnaires disease.  Review risk assessment and manage Legionella risks before you re-start using:

  • The water system
  • Air conditioning units

3.  Ventilation

There must be an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of your workplace. Identify poorly ventilated areas and maximise ventilation by:

  • Natural ventilation – open windows, doors (excluding fire doors), and air vents
  • Mechanical ventilation – use fans and ducts to bring in air from outside
  • A combination of both

4.  Hand Hygiene and Cleaning

Provide enough alcohol based hand gel stations throughout the business for employees and customers to maintain cleans hands. Important to maintain clean hands throughout the working day.
Design a cleaning schedule and train staff on its implementation. Include:

  • Work areas
  • Staff rooms
  • Canteens
  • Toilets
  • Equipment
  • Frequent touch points (door handles, trollies, baskets, hand-held devices etc)
  • Ensure these areas are cleaned and disinfected during the workday.

5.  Prepare for Physical Distancing

You are required to keep a 2 metre physical distance between all persons to minimise COVID-19 transmission. Remember to identify pinch points and busy areas.
Consider how you will:

  • Limit numbers permitted in a building at any one time
  • Manage queues inside and outdoors e.g. 2m interval floor markings
  • Mark 2m intervals on the floor inside
  • Introduce safe routes e.g. One-way systems
  • Remind customers of physical distancing e.g. tannoy announcements or taped messages
  • Highlight pinch points and busy areas with signs to remind about physical distancing
  • Screen staff at service counters
  • Stagger start times, finish times and breaks

 

Guidance

It is important that those in charge of a business put their own control measures in place to keep their staff, customers and visitors safe while on their premises; this is required by law. It is also important that staff implement these controls in order for them to be effective.

The Scottish Government also produced supplementary guidance for businesses; this includes sector specific advice which can be found in the businesses and employers section.

Below are some examples of the control measures that have been used and been found to be effective in keeping people safe:

  • Identify maximum number of people that can be in the store at the same time to allow for physical distancing (include staff numbers in total count)
  • Determine how staff will maintain 2m distance e.g. separate workstations
  • Appoint a member of staff to monitor numbers within store and to limit numbers when maximum is reached
  • Provide signs with details of social distancing and circulation with floor marking indicators showing route and reminding customers of the 2m distance requirement
  • Provide queues markings at till area
  • Introduce a one-way circulation system if possible
  • Maximise access and introduce one-way entry and exit points (if the layout of the building allows for this)
  • Keep entrances clear and provide queue markings outside the main entrance
  • Phasing of access and opening times
  • Phase delivery timings in loading bays
  • Provide hand sanitiser for customers entering the store
  • Sanitise all hand contact points regularly
  • Provide sanitiser spray for customers to sanitise baskets/trolleys if this service is not provided by your staff
  • Provide staff with personal protective equipment
  • Stagger start/finish times of staff and break times

It is important that employers introduce control measures that are suitable for their business type, premises, workforce and customers.

Regulation and Support

Environmental Health has powers to deal with businesses that do not follow Coronavirus restrictions. Our approach aims to achieve compliance through engagement, explanation and encouragement with enforcement as a last resort.  We are here to help everyone comply with this new law.

We understand the difficulties business operators are currently facing and the work involved in developing and implementing these additional systems. We would urge businesses to make use of this service if they are unsure of their obligations.

We can help businesses get it right and ensure they fully understand what they are supposed to do.  This will help us engage with them and help them continue to trade by following the rules.

Please contact the team by email at ehealth@clacks.gov.uk or phone 01259 450000 and request to speak to Environmental Health.

For all council service updates relating to Coronavirus, please refer to our Coronavirus section.

Further online guides

Reporting issues

You can report a range of environmental health issues by using our online Report It service or Comments and Complaints form.

For Further Information Contact

Environmental Health
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000
Email: