Burnley businesses to undergo 'spot checks' to ensure they are Covid secure

Burnley businesses are being urged to make sure they are "Covid-secure" as part of Burnley Council's wider efforts to tackle the virus and reduce its impact.

The council and Health and Safety Executive will carry out a number of spot checks on local businesses as part of a national scheme involving local authorities across the country. Initial contact will be made by phone, with a follow-up visit if necessary.

The vast majority of businesses have followed Government guidance and ensured their premises are safe, but there have been isolated cases where the rules have not been properly followed.

Coun. Asif Raja, the council’s executive member for economy and growth, said: “It’s been great to see local businesses following the rules and making sure signage is in place, social distancing is being followed and masks are being worn to help protect us all.

St James's Street, Burnley

“We need to ensure that this good work continues and proper measures are in place everywhere which is why we’re working with the HSE to carry out these spot checks.

“We know it’s been a difficult year for our businesses and we want to reassure them and our residents and visitors that we will continue to work with businesses and support them in providing a safe environment for everyone.”

During these latest checks on selected businesses the council will continue to provide advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors but where some businesses are not managing this, immediate action will be taken.

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.

Burnley town centre

Being Covid-secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus.

For further information on how to manage the risk of coronavirus in different business sectors please read the government guidance at www.gov.uk or check on the council website www.burnley.gov.uk

Coun. Raja added: “We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites across the borough 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. By making 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 UK economy.”

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.