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Covid-19: Planning for Business Closure

Planning for Closure

As guidance and updates on the COVID-19 virus pandemic are becoming an everyday concern with potential restriction on movement other than essential travel. The requirement for premises /sites to close as there may be a need to close due to lack of employees.

You may need to undertake a planned shutdown closure as you may not be able to return to them for a period of time.

Points to consider

  • Plan essential actions such as plant shutdown, isolation or making processes safe.
  • Clearly identify important items like shut-off valves and electrical isolators etc
  • All portable electrical fires are switched off
  • All non-essential equipment is switched off were safe to do so
  • Office fridges are emptied were this is possible
  • Water plants
  • Security alarms fire alarms are all operational and contact detail available.

Construction sites

There may already be site shut down procedures in place however, this closure may be in place for a while. So, ensure site security checks are done on:

  • Fences, scaffolds, ladders, plant machinery equipment
  • Site storage areas
  • Welfare facilities should we experience a cold snap may burst pipes
  • Excavations are all protected
  • Work area are left safe equipment switched off were safe to do so
  • Contact details are available to emergency services

This not an exhaustive list, safety must be considered when isolating or switching off.

On returning to work after prolonged closure, carry out safety checks look for what has changed during the closure period.

Safe start up procedures, pre-use checks on all plant and equipment, briefing employees on health and safety. Continue with hygiene procedure and wipe down where safe to do so.

Consider what might happen and how the alarm will be raised. Don’t forget night and shift working, weekends and times when the premises are closed.

  • Plan what to do, including how to call the emergency services. Help them by clearly marking your premises from the road. Consider drawing up a simple plan showing the location of hazardous items.
  • If you have 25 tonnes or more of dangerous substances, you must notify the fire and rescue service and put up warning signs.
  • Decide where to go to reach a place of safety or to get rescue equipment. You must provide suitable forms of emergency lighting.
  • You must make sure there are enough emergency exits for everyone to escape quickly and keep emergency doors and escape routes unobstructed and clearly marked.
  • Nominate competent people to take control (a competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety).
  • Decide which other key people you need, such as a nominated incident controller, someone who is able to provide technical and other site-specific information if necessary, or first-aiders.

The Avensure Health & Safety team are happy to talk you through the health and safety procedures businesses need to have in place and how to start the process, so please contact us if you want to discuss your health and safety needs in more detail.

Please quote your Client Account Number on all correspondence and telephone calls. 24-hour client advice line: 0330 100 8704