We are working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to make sure businesses are COVID-secure.
Our Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams are working with HSE to contact businesses in North Lanarkshire to check they have COVID-secure measures in place and to help tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) in the local area.
Officers are also working alongside local public health authorities to support the understanding of any patterns in confirmed coronavirus cases in the area.
During the checks officers provide advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors but where some businesses are not managing this, they will take immediate action. This 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.
Being COVID-secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus.
Chief Executive, Des Murray said: “We are talking to local businesses and visiting and inspecting sites in and around North Lanarkshire to 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 North Lanarkshire. 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 caution now is not the time for employers to become complacent and urge them to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.
“We encourage employers to make use of the asymptomatic testing centre at Airdrie Leisure Centre and three mobile sites in Wishaw, Newmains and Bellshill.”
HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of sectors that 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.
Des Murray 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.
“Our Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams have already carried out over 7,000 Covid visits, actioned 1,149 complaints and responded to over 500 business advice requests. The majority of businesses have responded well to our enforcement policy to engage, explain and encourage, with escalation to formal enforcement on only a very small number of occasions.
“Our partnership with the HSE will assist to make sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of the local community as well as support the local and national economy.”
For the latest information and safer business guidance, see Coronavirus (COVID-19): creating and maintaining safer workplaces - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) and Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).