Open safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Welsh Government have produced sector guidance for businesses including retailers. This guidance can be found here https://gov.wales/your-responsibilities-employer-coronavirus
For specific health and safety advice see the Health and safety Executive web pages below. If you need further assistance after going through their coronavirus latest information and “answers to questions” pages their Contact Line is 0300 790 6787.
The Welsh Government have produced guidance for retailers which can be found at https://gov.wales/retailers-coronavirus-workplace-guidance. On page 9 is an example notice that you may wish to display in your workplace or on your premises to show that you have followed this guidance.
Health and Safety Executive
Health and Safety Executive: latest information and advice
Working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Manage the risks in your business
Five steps to risk assessment
Health and safety made simple
It is important that employers and the self-employed understand that they already have statutory duties towards their employees and others to put in place measures to keep them safe. During the pandemic, this includes taking steps to help people work from home where they can do their job in this way, providing handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance, taking all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between persons and to have regard to guidance from the Welsh Ministers about taking those measures.
It is already a requirement under health and safety legislation that employers and the self-employed carry out risk assessments for hazards at the workplace and it is essential that employers also carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment.
Key areas you will see in guidance:
Risk Assessment is essential (example here). You need to use the Hierarchy of Controls, ideally eliminate the risk. Personal Protective Equipment is a last resort. It is preferable to write down your risk assessment and this is required if you have 5 or more employees. If you wish you can also display it on your website.
Work from home where possible.
Prevent people who are unwell or should be isolating from coming into the business premises, employees, public, contractors and visitors.
Reinforce Good Respiratory Hygiene/Cough etiquette.
Cleaning and Disinfection in accordance with guidance.
Assess Ventilation and air flow in buildings.
Reduce noise levels to prevent people moving closer to listen.
Engage with employees and volunteers on the risk assessment and helpful ideas in practice.
Consider human behaviour and use signs, instructions on websites to reinforce your system and to ensure people follow it.
Procedure to follow should someone in the premises subsequently have symptoms or a positive test result.
This list is non exhaustive and must cover all your business activities. Your risk assessment must be reviewed frequently. Also consider unexpected effects of the measures you take, First Aid, Fire Safety and where a control measure is not being followed what immediate action must be taken.
We would encourage all businesses to demonstrate to their workers and customers that they have properly assessed their risks and taken the appropriate measures to mitigate them. Welsh Government have produced guidance for retailers which is available at: https://gov.wales/retailers-coronavirus-workplace-guidance. On page 9 is an example notice that you may wish to display in your workplace or on your premises to show that you have followed this guidance.Once you have completed the work to ensure your premises complies with Welsh Government guidance you can inform people by displaying a notice on your premises – downloadable here.
Please find below some helpful links and contact information to help you open, or plan to open your business safely.
Please bear in mind a number of points regarding the guidance links below:
It is being updated regularly.
Some is based on the legislation of home nations other than Wales so may differ slightly – always refer back to the Welsh Government Coronavirus legislation and guidance.
Any examples or templates are just that - each employer should consider their own unique circumstances.
Coronavirus legislation and guidance on the law
UK Government, BEIS
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy: working safely during coronavirus (eight guides covering a range of different types of work)
5 steps to working safel
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance, including for the retail sector
Operational checklist for retailers (source – Scottish Government)
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
Example risk assessment for COVID-19 in workplaces
Public Health England and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy: guidance for employees, employers and businesses
ReOpen: Sport and physical activity sector facility reopening guidance
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice and guidance for the physical activity sector
ukactive recommended operational framework for gyms, leisure centres and the wider fitness industry to reopen safely in the UK (pdf)
Businesses reminded to check water
As lockdown continues to ease, businesses and building owners are reminded to check the maintenance of their premises as they reopen.
If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.
As part of the reopening process water systems should be reviewed to ensure they are safe for employees and customers.
Legionnaires’ disease can be contracted by breathing in small droplets of water suspended in the air which contain Legionella bacteria. Symptoms include fever, a non-productive cough and pneumonia.
The disease can be more serious in men aged over 50, smokers and people with chronic lung disease and weak immune systems. It does not spread from person to person.
People who manage or own buildings are being asked to follow the latest advice from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Health and Safety Executive to help minimise the risk from legionella as they prepare to reopen following the lockdown period.
It includes flushing through cold water systems with fresh mains water as well as increasing the temperature of hot water systems to above 60°C if possible to achieve thermal disinfection of the hot water system. This should be undertaken as part of a thorough risk assessment and may require other works to be done.
All water systems need to be considered. This includes water systems at shops, hairdressers, offices, hotels, gyms, sports clubs, golf clubs, hotels, pubs, clubs, restaurants and voluntary-run premises.
Guidance for reopening hairdressers and barber shops
More information is available from:
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health at https://www.cieh.org/policy/coronavirus-covid-19/resources/
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/legionella-risks-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm
ESGLI Guidance for managing Legionella in building water systems, spa pools, hot tubs during the COVID-19 pandemic
Food Standards Agency: reopening and adapting your food business during COVID-19
Federation of Small Businesses
British Retail Consortium
Health and Safety Enforcement Section
Flintshire County Council, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 6NF
Tel 01352 703441