Corona Virus

HSE Stakeholder eBulletin: 24 September 2020

Thursday 24th September 2020

This bulletin has been provided to us by the HSE.

You were chosen to receive this bulletin because of the influence you have on others in your industry.

For the latest news visit our website.

Make sure your workplace is COVID-secure

In order to make your workplace COVID-secure you need to make changes to your work to protect people.

Our website offers help with assessing risk and making your workplace COVID-secure.

It includes a link to help you update your risk assessment to manage the risk of coronavirus in your business.

There are also step-by-step workplace guides to:

For all the latest information and advice visit our coronavirus microsite.

New measures announced to tackle rising number of COVID-19 cases

On 22 September the Prime Minister announced a range of measures to address the rising number of COVID-19 case numbers across the whole of the UK. They include:

  • changing the guidance to ask people to work from home where they can
  • placing new restrictions on operating hours for hospitality, leisure, entertainment and tourism businesses
  • putting more of our COVID-secure guidance for businesses into law
  • expanding the range of settings where these legal obligations regarding specific COVID-secure guidelines will apply
  • higher fines of up to £10,000 for businesses who break COVID rules and the penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will double to £200 for a first offence
  • giving the police and local authorities £60m more funding to support a range of additional enforcement activity

You can find further information on GOV.UK.

These measures apply to England but there may be different rules if you live in an area under local lockdown. You should check local lockdown rules.

Different rules may apply if you’re in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Spot checks and inspections - what our inspectors are finding

During the coronavirus outbreak, HSE has been carrying out spot checks and inspections on businesses to make sure they’re COVID-secure.

This includes phone calls and site visits. So far, more than 17,600 businesses have been contacted.

Of the businesses called and visited, HSE has found that 88% are compliant and therefore COVID-secure. But, HSE has also found issues on a number of sites that needed attention, and these are consistent across a number of sectors. This includes poor social distancing and a lack of adequate hand washing measures.

During the spot checks and inspections HSE provides advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers and visitors, but where some businesses are not managing this, we will take immediate action.

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.

HSE continues to contact workplaces of all sizes and from all sectors to make sure they are COVID-secure and help tackle outbreaks of coronavirus cases. Your workplace could be next.

Be prepared with further information on spot checks and inspections on the HSE website.

Test and trace update from Department for Health and Social Care

Below is an update on the latest guidance and materials for NHS Test and Trace.

NHS COVID-19 app launch and mandatory use of QR codes

The NHS Covid-19 app has launched today in England and Wales.

Further information and resources designed to support you with the NHS Covid-19 App are available on the NHS website.

New package to support and enforce self-isolation

From Monday 28 September, funding is available for people on lower incomes in England who need to self-isolate. People unable to work from home who would lose income as a result of self-isolating will receive a payment of £500.

People who are asked to self-isolate will be required by law to do so, or face a fine of £1,000. This is in line with the penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel. Fines could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and for the worst breaches, including preventing others from self-isolating.

For example, this could include business owners who threaten staff with redundancy if they do not come to work because they are self-isolating.

Resources

There are a wide variety of Covid-19 social media assets, posters, translated materials and leaflets available for use, that can be found on the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre. There are resources on the following

  • NHS Test and Trace
  • Symptoms
  • Stay alert to stay safe
  • Looking out for each other
  • Now more than ever, every mind matters
  • NHS resources

Guidance is also available outlining the COVID-19 contact tracing arrangements for workplaces in Scotland and Wales.

Tags: Covid-19 HSE
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