Covid 19 - reopening businesses safely
Reopening shops, pubs and workplaces
Businesses and shops are starting to see the coronavirus restrictions lifted. It won't be acceptable to simply reopen as normal - businesses must risk assess their whole operation to ensure they are safe for employees and customers. This is a risk assessment.
- For very small businesses, the risk assessment need not be written down, but must still be done.
- For businesses of five or more employees it must be written down.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires these risk assessments to be done. If you don't do a risk assessment you may get an Improvement Notice or even a prohibition or prosecution. You can use the link below to help you.
What do I need to consider?
You will need to look at the risk to customers and staff when reopening and either eliminate the risk or put in place procedures that will reduce it to a safe level. Each premises will be different, but a few of the things you might want to consider would be: cleaning of common touch points or items, premises capacity to maintain social distancing, ventilation, isolating customer returns, handling money, queueing etc.
Where can I find out how to do a risk assessment?
The Health & Safety Executive have a guide to producing a risk assessment on their website: www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/index.htm .
Your trade associations may also have useful guidance for your sector. Check their websites or contact them direct
There is further guidance available from many sources:
- Your trade association
- The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII),
- the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA)
- Public Health England (PHE) guidance to employers and businesses on working safely
- PHE Social distancing guidance for food businesses and retail
- Advice on working safely for workplaces from PHE, government and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
HSE advice on cleaning materials etc: