Covid-19 food and health & safety information for businesses

On 19th July England moved to Step 4 of the Government's Roadmap out of lockdown:

Step 4 sees the removal of blanket restrictions and requirements, plus the reopening of all sectors. The government focus going forwards being one of responsible business, premises and persons. 

A number of sector guides have been published to help businesses prepare for further changes and ‘think through’ how they wish to operate in the future with the focus placed firmly on risk assessment.  It may well be that you wish to retain some of the changes you have introduced under Covid-19 to boost staff and customer confidence, these are all matters to think about.

Different types of work including construction, shops, restaurants and offices are covered by the guides, however organisations may need to use more than one of them as they consider what they need to do to keep people safe.

Working safely guidance

Business should also be aware that event guidance has also be published to inform the Step 4 transition

Events guidance

In the long term, we expect that businesses will need to take fewer precautions to manage the risk of Covid-19. The Government will continue to keep guidance under review and will remove advice once it’s safe to do so.

From Step 4, social distancing guidance will no longer apply. This means that you do not need to implement social distancing in your business, workplace or venue, and customers and workers do not need to keep apart from people they don’t live with.

The government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, so employers can start to plan a return to workplaces. During this period of high prevalence, the government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer. You should discuss the timing and phasing of a return with your workers.

Employers and others must continue to follow statutory health and safety requirements, conduct a risk assessment, and take reasonable steps to manage risks in their workplace or setting, as set out in this guidance.

Risk Assessments 

Every employer is legally required to do what is “reasonably practicable” to protect their staff and members of the public.  If you have fewer than five employees you do not have to write anything down.  All businesses must identify and control the risks in their workplace, using sensible measures and this includes COVID-19.

Find out about doing a COVID risk assessment 

Working safely during coronavirus(COVID-19) updated 1 December 2020  

Working Safely during COVID-19 in Shops and branches updated 5 November 2020 

For the latest information and advice from the Health and Safety Executive, COVID-19 Helpline Telephone Number: 0300 790 6787 

Key controls measures to consider for the workplace 

Ventilation - Good ventilation brings fresh or cleaned air into indoor spaces. The more fresh air that is brought inside, the more diluted any airborne virus will become. In poorly ventilated spaces, residual virus can remain in the air after an infected person has left and increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading. 

Protecting people who are at higher risk – you should give extra consideration to people at higher risk and to workers facing mental and physical difficulties. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are no longer advised to shield. You should continue to support these workers by discussing with them their individual needs and supporting them in taking any additional precautions advised by their clinicians. 

People who need to self – isolate you should stop people physically coming to work, when government guidance advises them to stay at home, this includes people who: have Covid- 19 symptoms, live in a household with someone who has symptoms, are required to self-isolate as part of NHS test and trace. 

Cleaning the workplace – you should keep the workplace clean and prevent the spread of Covid-19 from touching contaminated surfaces. 

Working areas - social distancing guidance no longer applies and there are no limits on social contacts between people from different households. Covid-19 can still spread through social contacts within the workplace. You can mitigate this risk by reducing the number of people your workers come into contact with.

The Government Guidance on working safely covers these areas in further detail, and provides examples of controls you can introduce to reduce the spread within the workplace. 

Other considerations for the workplace 

Outside spaces - the public generally understand that outside environments are safer for reducing the spread of Covid-19. You should consider ensuring that any outside structure is secure so that weather conditions will not affect the structure. Also Open Water swimming can be dangerous for the public. If your site is near open water you should consider this situation. Further guidance is available from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue 

Countryside Code - the local tourist / leisure industry will attract visitors from around the UK to the Derbyshire Dales. Therefore please promote the Countryside Code so everyone visiting the area is safe and enjoys their visit to the local area. Disposable BBQs pose a risk of wild fires and carbon monoxide for campers.

Fire Safety as your business starts to operate again there are some key Fire Safety matters for you to consider. It may be necessary for you to review your fire risk assessment to ensure it is correct and reflects the way your business now operates. Should you need any help or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your Business Safety Advisor at BSA@derbys-fire.gov.uk

Covid-19 food safety information for businesses