We have asked our Trusted Partners from Shield Safety Group to
give you some tips to help you prepare for any visit. SSG also run the BII’s free EHO Helpline for members only and are there to support you in every aspect of risk and compliance going forward.
Covid 19 Risk Assessment
- It is very likely that any visit from a Regulator will
focus on the risk assessment. It is therefore of high importance that
the document is accurate and understood by all team.
- It’s a
legal requirement to record the significant findings of your risk
assessment if you employee more than 5 people, but we strongly recommend
you have one in place even if you employ less than this – it will prove
that you understand the risks and how best to tackle them
- Include your team in the risk assessment process – get them thinking about how to deal with issues as they arise
- Train your team how to conduct the task you have risk assessed, they must understand the control measures you have in place.
a record of the training you have given, and keep a copy of your risk
assessment. Don’t forget to update it if things significantly change,
and review it regularly.
- Be very clear in the risk assessment those activities that are not permitted at this time, for example live music.
forget your Fire Risk Assessment. You will need to review your
assessment to identify if there has been any impact from changes in the
Records up to Date
- By maintaining accurate records, you are demonstrating compliance to the Regulating Officer.
your records are up to date and ensure all members of the management
team know the location of them and are able to discuss the contents with
the Regulating Officer.
Documents that need to be up to date include: food safety, fire safety, health and safety, risk assessments, return to work questionnaires and daily and weekly checks. If you are unsure what is required, then please do contact the BII EHO Helpline and they will support you.
It is recognised that sometimes things do not go as planned. It is
important to record when this is the case and then note the corrective
action to bring the non-conformance back on track. Regulators are
rightly suspicious of pages and pages of ticks and are more interested
on what action has been taken if issues have been identified.
implementing an Incident Log of when guests have not followed the
social distancing requirements or other Covid controls. Again, this will
help to demonstrate the action that has been taken by the site if
issues have been identified.
- Remember that there is an
expectation that a record of all guests and visitors will be maintained
and these details kept for at least 21 days.
Communication with Team and Guests
- Posters, floor markings and messages on websites and
social media are all great way of demonstrating how you communicate the
expected behaviour to both team and guests. Make sure these
communications are in place and easily readable.
The BII have created some excellent “Positive Posters” for you to use – download those here.
Other aspects of safety
- Whilst the focus is likely to be around controls for
Covid, the other elements of food safety, health and safety, fire safety
and licencing must be adhered to. One way of helping demonstrate this
is by showing the pre-opening checks you have completed.
- If you do not have an opening checklist, you can access more information from Shield Safety.
Work with the Officer
- As with any new piece of legislation or guidance, it
will be subject to interpretation. The BII is working hard alongside the
other key trade bodies to ensure that the local authorities are
offering a consistent service across the board to avoid conflict and
- If the Officer has concerns, be open to discussing
them and understanding what further controls are required. If you are
unsure, go back to the government guidance to understand the
- If you believe the request to be unreasonable or a
misinterpretation of the requirements, further support can be found
through contacting the Helpline.
Keep up to date
The coronavirus situation is fast moving and changing constantly. This is true for you as a licensee and
for those responsible for enforcing the requirements. Keep up to date
with the latest requirements and ensure your team are aware of any
changes. All amendments must be captured in the risk assessment and team
Remember, if you have residents or businesses who are opposed to your
premises, they often turn to the local council or Police for action. In
the past this may be to report instances such as alleged noise
nuisance, antisocial behaviour or littering. In the same way, those
opposed to you trading could use any alleged breach of Covid controls to
report your business.
In these cases it is even more important to ensure controls are being
followed and you are able to demonstrate this to the Regulator.
For all queries relating to any H&S issue, your BII EHO Helpline
is available from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. All 7 of the BII
Helplines can be found on our Helplines page.