Bristol business poised to help UK reopen — would your premises pass the HSE’s Covid-secure checks?

Bristol business poised to help UK reopen -- would your premises pass the HSE's Covid-secure checks?
NEWS FEATURES FIRE & SECURITY SUBMISSIONS RESOURCES

People Management magazine reported this month that “firms that fail to make their premises Covid-secure could face reputational damage and tribunal claims”.

In the UK the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the independent health and safety regulator responsible for safety at work.

With Boris Johnson’s roadmap to reopening being published on 22 February, now is the ideal time to plan ahead and to ensure businesses have the safety measures and processes in place in readiness for HSE inspections.

Spot checks and telephone interviews

The HSE is carrying out spot checks to ensure that businesses are Covid-secure, and is also carrying out telephone interviews with firms to ask about their Covid security measures.

It has the power to take enforcement action against businesses as well as individuals, including senior managers and directors should a breach be found.

Jeff Cox, owner of Euro Moulding 3D Solutions, also runs a serviced business centre in Bristol. He said, “One of the reasons I invented the Hands Free Handle, called the AV Arm Pull Handle, was to keep my own serviced office clients and our centre staff safe.

“During the first lockdown we fitted prototypes on all the corridor and toilet doors. We went into production with the Hands Free Handle during the second lockdown and now every door which has a pull handle, including kitchen and stairwells, now features the production version of the AV Arm Pull Handle which is available to purchase from our website.

“To my mind every responsible business should be purchasing one of these for their pull handle doors. I have deliberately kept the price as low as possible at just £13.95 ex VAT with reductions for larger quantities, as I believe this is a genuine contribution to combatting be Covid pandemic.

“We have not yet had an in-person visit from the HSE team but when they rang to ask about our Covid-measures at New World Business Centre in Bristol, they were very very impressed when we told them about our Hands Free Handles.”

Analysis from a law firm, GQ Littler, has shown that over 5,500 reports about Coronavirus risks were reported to the HSE since March 2020. Many of the reports were on the subject of social distancing at work, with others around lack of personal protective equipment.

Employers’ duty to ensure workplace safety

Sophie Vanhagen is a partner at the law firm and emphasises that it is the employers’ duty to ensure workplace safety. She added that failing to take care of the health and safety of employees could breach employers’ express duties under health and safety legislation.

Workplaces which have not taken full Covid secure measures risk spreading Covid throughout employees and visitors, causing a public health risk, absenteeism and impacting productivity.

For the firm it could lead to investigations, enforcement notices and prosecutions. Sophie Vanhagen noted that the HSE also can name and shame non-compliant businesses, potentially causing huge public relations issues and reputational damage.

Additional risks from new Covid variants

Another expert quoted in the article is from the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, noted that increased risks posed by new fast spreading strains of the virus mean it has never been more important for employers to redo Covid-19 risk assessments.

About the AV Arm Pull Handle

The AV Arm Pull Handle is designed by Euro Moulding 3D Solutions based in New World Business Centre in Warmley, Bristol. It provides specialist services to industries including architecture, automotive, medical and aerospace. Services include design and simulations using 3D CAD modelling, vacuum forming, complex injection moulding, rapid prototyping, 3D printing and tooling.

Websites: www.handsfreehandle.co.uk or https://em3ds.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hands-Free-Handle-106784487970349

Twitter: @handsfreehandle

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/handsfreehandle/

 

Bristol business poised to help UK reopen — would your premises pass the HSE’s Covid-secure checks?

NEWS FEATURES FIRE & SECURITY SUBMISSIONS RESOURCES