Guidance for businesses (includes COVID-19 re-opening advice & Poster)

Free guidance is available on the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) website. Small businesses in particular may find their example risk assessments useful covering workplaces such as offices, local shops, food businesses and warehouses.

If you are a new business visit the getting started section of the HSE site, which provides a useful checklist. There is also a list of frequently asked health and safety questions as well as tips on health and safety made simple.

We can provide basic further advice if we are your enforcing authority (most consumer service industry workplaces such as retail leisure and offices).

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) Reopening Advice for Businesses & Poster

Businesses are facing an extremely difficult time at the moment. Many businesses remain closed but many are preparing to reopen. This note provides a quick prompt for businesses who are preparing to reopen.

Once you have completed your risk assessment and put appropriate controls in place you may complete and display the workplace poster available to download here Icon for pdf COVID 19 Poster [363.35KB]

Protecting People from Covid-19

Currently, the measures you should take to protect employees and the public include:

·      Protecting workers who should be shielding

·      Working from home where possible

·      Social distancing people in and around workplaces

·      Staggering work shifts

·      Providing additional handwashing facilities

Advice for specific types of business may be found here: Working safely during coronavirus

Risk Assessment

Each employer will need to assess the risks of Coronavirus and determine what control measures are required. After completing their risk assessment staff should be given detailed instruction as to what is required of them. Signage may be required for members of the public. More information on risk assessment can be found here: Managing risks and risk assessment at work

Employee Concerns

If you are not happy with the action taken in your workplace you should first discuss this with your employer. If there are more than 4 employees you can ask to see a copy of their risk assessment.


Legionella is a bug that can cause serious respiratory health problems. It is associated with fine water particles in the air which can be released in sprays or mists. Legionella can grow in stagnating water systems which is why there can be an increased risk in businesses that have been closed for some time. If you did not flush through your hot and cold water systems during lockdown you may need to carry out additional cleaning and disinfection before the building is occupied.

Buildings with spray taps, spas, certain air conditioning units or other potential additional sources of legionella should revise their risk assessments before reopening and seek specialist advice if necessary. More information on legionella can be found here: Legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak

Keep Up to Date

The guidance on Coronavirus is changing regularly. You should regularly review your risk assessments and stay up to date by visiting the website: Business support