Council's new 'Covid officers' to inspect hundreds of businesses

Four new Covid Officers have joined Pendle Council’s Environmental Health team to make sure businesses are safe and Covid-secure.

By Dominic Collis
Thursday, 27th May 2021, 12:30 pm

The new team is visiting businesses in Pendle which reopened from May 12th, including pubs, restaurants and cafes opening indoors for food and drink.

The Covid Officers are also helping to cover inspection visits of the hundreds of businesses which opened from April 12th, including hairdressers, barbers, nail salons, tattooists and physiotherapists.

Michael Duck, who leads the team, said: “Out of 93 visits we made last week in mid-May, 54 were compliant and the rest were not.

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Michael Duck

“This is a worsening and worrying picture and we had to flag up some businesses to the police,” he explained.

Businesses have a legal duty to protect their workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus.

Problems spotted by the team included businesses not having hand sanitiser available for customers, businesses not doing Contact Tracing, businesses not allowing more space and people not wearing masks.”

Coun. Nadeem Ahmed, leader of Pendle Council said: “Now that more Government restrictions have lifted it’s vital that we take the next steps safely.

“As we continue the roadmap out of lockdown and more businesses reopen, Pendle Council is continuing to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out spot checks and inspections on local businesses.

“The pandemic is not over. And with the new variant from India now present in Covid cases in Pendle we cannot afford for businesses or customers to take risks,” he warned.

Michael Duck added: “There is advice and support for businesses to get this right and grants are available to cover the costs.”

Visit Pendle Council’s website or ring the Environmental Health Team on 01282 662009.