20/05/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Shropshire Council welcomes a measured approach to businesses reopening

Related topics: Community / Coronavirus / Economic growth / Health / Public protection

Shropshire Council’s priority during the coronavirus pandemic is to protect the health and safety of the public and to save lives.

With that in mind, the council has welcomed the Government’s phased approach to the reopening of businesses, and is reviewing the guidance and plans for the coming months.

However, it is clear businesses and employers will need support as they implement new guidance to ensure required controls are in place to protect their staff and the public. Creating worker and consumer confidence is going to be a significant challenge.

Environmental health practitioners have a vital role in protecting the public through a range of enforcement and advice functions. In Shropshire they have taken the lead, adopting a proportionate and pragmatic approach to enforcing social distancing in the workplace, as well as advising on business restrictions.

Shropshire Council is keen for Government to recognise the role and skills of its regulatory services environmental health workforce, alongside the Health and Safety Executive*, in ensuring businesses are adequately supported and regulated.

Karen Collier, Shropshire Council’s regulatory services operations manager, said:-

“We need to ensure that both staff returning to work and the public are protected as much as possible over the coming months so that a second peak of the virus can be avoided. We have the expertise, skills and staff able to advise and support, which are key to protecting people’s safety during this difficult time.”

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’sCabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:

“The health and safety of the public is our number one priority. It is crucial that businesses make their workplaces safe to protect their staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We have highly knowledgeable and skilled staff who are happy and able to help businesses and the public with any concerns they may have. If you need to speak with us, get in touch. We are here to help.”

Shropshire Council’s environmental health practitioners in regulatory services are responsible for health and safety regulation in warehouses, offices, shops, residential care homes, takeaways, restaurants, pubs, clubs and hotels.

Anyone who has doesn’t feel safe at work due to coronavirus risks should look at the Government guidance to check what their employer should be doing to keep the workplace safe and healthy. If they can, they should speak to the person in charge of the workplace, who should be able to explain to them the measures they are taking to keep them safe at work.

Staff and the public can report COVID-19 workplace concerns to Shropshire Council by email to advicecompliance@shropshire.gov.uk or telephone 0345 678 9067 and select option 3.

Further information can also be found on our website https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/information-for-businesses-and-the-self-employed/

*The Health and Safety Executive is the responsible body for regulation in other sectors such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare and local and central government premises. Concerns about those sectors can be reported to the HSE using an online form on the HSE website. If you can’t use the form, you can phone the HSE on 0300 003 1647 and they will fill in the form with you.

Keep informed and sign up to our daily coronavirus email updates

Shropshire Council wants to keep you as up to date and informed as possible. To help us do this, we have developed a coronavirus update that will be sent daily at 8pm via email to anyone who has signed up to our e-bulletins.

This update includes the day’s key Shropshire Council news, and some key news from our partners, relating to coronavirus-linked issues.  Please click here to sign up for the updates.

Please do encourage your family and friends to sign up to the updates too. This will help us keep everyone up to date with the rapidly-evolving crisis.