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Council appoints Covid compliance officers

By David G Scott

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The Highland Council has appointed four dedicated Covid compliance officers to work throughout the region.

Three officers are based within the local authority's environmental health team and one officer within trading standards.

A key role for the officers will be to engage with business and to assist employers in interpreting and understanding all the relevant Covid guidance which relates to their specific business sector.

As part of their role, the officers will be 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 the council will work closely with businesses to ensure they comply and implement suitable steps to operate safely.

Covid notice in Wick. Picture: DGS
Covid notice in Wick. Picture: DGS

The officers have already undertaken over 160 visits to food retailers, petrol filling stations and taxi companies since they have been appointed. The council said it was "reassured to find" that the vast majority of businesses have suitable Covid measures in place and have engaged fully with the officers in any advice that has been provided.

Alan Yates, environmental health manager 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.”

Covid compliance information.
Covid compliance information.

In readiness to re-open, 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 and the public who may use their services. The easing of restrictions may present some new challenges to businesses, but it is important to ensure that all workplaces remain safe.

The council has published five top tips for businesses to consider as they prepare to reopen. These should be read in conjunction with any sector specific guidance published by the Scottish Government.

Further advice is available on telephone 01349 886603 or email envhealth@highland.gov.uk

Scottish Government timetable for easing restrictions is available at www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-timetable-for-easing-restrictions/

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