Highland Council has appointed four dedicated Covid-19 compliance officers to work throughout the area to engage with businesses and to assist employers in interpreting and understanding all the relevant guidance which relates to their specific sector.
Three officers are based within the council’s Environmental Health team and one officer within Trading Standards.
As part of their role, the officers are responsible for visiting businesses to undertake compliance checks as the restrictions are eased in the weeks and months ahead.
Where areas of non-compliance are identified, Highland Council will work closely with businesses to ensure they comply and implement suitable steps to operate safely.
The officers have already undertaken over 160 visits to food retailers, filling stations and taxi companies since being appointed.
The council has been reassured to find that the vast majority of businesses have suitable Covid-19 measures in place and have engaged fully with the officers in any advice that has been provided.
In preparation of reopening, Highland Council said that all businesses should start to look at their workplace operations and create a plan to implement safe work practices to protect the health, safety and welfare of their staff, as well as the public who may use their services.
Highland Council has published guidance titled ‘Top Tips for reopening’, which focusses on the following areas:
- Employees and risk assessment
- Utility services
- Hand hygiene and cleaning
- Prepare for physical distancing
The council are urging businesses to consider the guidance as they prepare to reopen and said that they should be read in conjunction with any sector specific guidance published by the Scottish Government.
Commenting, Highland Council’s Environmental Health Manager, Alan Yates said: “The appointment of the Covid compliance officers will greatly assist our service in continuing to engage with local businesses as the restrictions ease and help provide reassurance to the public that business within the Highlands are operating safely.
“They will play a key role in providing advice on the legislative requirements and Covid guidance for businesses on how they can control the risks of disease transmission and to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”