Training and compliance
As a minimum we expect:
- training around processes and working environment expectations to be provided for all staff, including those who work part time and zero hour contracts, before restarting work
As staff begin to return to the workplace, training will be essential to build a common understanding of requirements within the new working norm, instilling confidence that the changes put in place contribute to a safe workplace. Given that enhanced cleaning procedures will be crucial in reducing transmission of the virus, additional training for staff who undertake the cleaning of premises should also be in place.
Training methods must clearly communicate organisation-specific actions put in place to promote and support physical distancing, both among staff and service users/ customers. They should also set out the expectations on staff to ensure compliance with these measures.
As a minimum we expect:
- organisations to establish measures, in collaboration with trade union or workforce representatives, to monitor compliance with relevant regulations and processes put in place to enable safe working
Under the Health & Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998 your Local Authority Environmental Health Service will usually be the relevant enforcing authority for how you control the risk of coronavirus in the soft play sector. You can find your local authority contact at https://www.cosla.gov.uk/councils In some cases, it may be the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) but, in any case, enforcing authorities, who have powers of entry, will apply the same requirements. HSE can be contacted by phone on 0300 003 1647 or online at HSE contact form.
Where the enforcing authority identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with public health guidance to control COVID-19 health risks to workers, they will consider a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. This includes the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices or even prosecution.
Organisations may wish to appoint a designated COVID-19 officer on site for each shift. This person would have responsibility for ensuring risk assessments are in place and up to date, mitigations are in place and being adhered to, and to ensure key messages are regularly cascaded to staff. The COVID-19 officer will require to be competent in the risk assessment process and the mitigations for the location and to be given appropriate training if required.
Organisations should put in place robust local arrangements to monitor compliance with new operational arrangements. This should be done with trade union or workforce representatives. Advice, guidance and support from external enforcement authorities should be sought where necessary.