Coronavirus

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Business responsibilities during lockdown

Published: 05 May 2020

Businesses and shops permitted to remain open during the coronavirus lockdown are being reminded of their health and safety responsibilities to their staff and customers.

Businesses need to prioritise safety by taking a series of measures which include limiting the number of people on the premises at any one time, asking people with symptoms not to enter and reminding both staff and customers to keep two metres away from others, wherever possible.

To help businesses work out what the next steps are, the council’s food and safety team has produced a checklist of some of the key controls a business can introduce.

These include checking the health status of their staff, providing handwashing facilities and increasing scope and frequency of cleaning routines. The checklist can be accessed under the title ‘guidance and business check list’ at www.slough.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/coronavirus-guidance-for-businesses.aspx.

Owners of businesses which have temporarily closed still have a responsibility for their premises and need to undertake regular checks to make sure they remain safe and pest free.

Ann Stewart, from the food and safety team, said businesses where food remains on the premises need to make sure it is stored correctly, any fridges and freezers continue to operate properly and all waste is properly disposed off and collected.

Business owners whose premises are empty also have to ward off the potentially deadly legionella bacteria as it has a chance to grow to unsafe levels in unused water systems. There is information available on the steps businesses can take which includes regular flushing of hot and cold water systems here :- https://www.escmid.org/fileadmin/src/media/PDFs/3Research_Projects/ESGLI/COVId_buidling_water_system_guidance_27_3_20_v4_DS.pdf

Alan Sinclair, director of adult and community services, said: “Whether businesses remain open or closed due to the coronavirus crisis owners have responsibilities.

“Businesses with staff and customers on the premises have a daily challenge to keep everyone adhering to social distancing guidelines and provide a safe environment to work and shop.

“However, business owners who have had to close their premises still need to regularly check on them as well as their stock, and be prepared for when lockdown restrictions are eased.”

For more information and the checklist visit www.slough.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/coronavirus-guidance-for-businesses.aspx. The food and safety team can also be contacted for advice by email on Food.Safety@slough.gov.uk.

For more business help, information and FAQs about grants visit www.slough.gov.uk/business/finance-funding-and-grants/coronavirus-and-business-rates.aspx.