Actions recommended by an Incident Management Team (IMT)
Recommendations for actions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace and amongst staff will be considered by the IMT, recorded in the minutes of the meetings and communicated formally by the chair of the IMT to the business. The IMT will also ensure that the appropriate regulators (HSE or Local Authority Health and Safety) are involved in these discussions.
A recommendation to close a workplace will never be taken lightly and will only be made after due consideration is given to all the principles in this paper. The final decision to close should be made in conjunction with the relevant regulator(s) and the appropriate agencies and government department(s), Scottish Government Health, PHS and Local Authorities (LAs). Ideally, there should be consensus among IMT membership on whether to recommend closure. However, if agreement cannot be reached the ultimate decision regarding whether to recommend closure rests with the chair of the IMT.
It is important for employers to understand that the IMT is convened to manage a Public Health incident. It provides a framework to enable Public Health and other statutory agencies to fulfil their remits which includes minimising mortality and illness by promptly recognising the incident and identifying and controlling the source of that exposure. Therefore, Public Health concerns will take primacy in an IMT.
If an IMT recommends closure of the premises, the expectation is that the business should close. If an IMT does not recommend closure, the business is not expected to close although it is recognised that some businesses may wish to close voluntarily for production or safety reasons.
If a business does not close following a recommendation by the IMT, then an assessment will be made as to whether it is appropriate and proportionate to use legislation. Where necessary, steps will be taken to enforce closure using the powers outlined below.