There are many issues to consider before re opening after the shutdown. Here’s a useful checklist so nothing is forgotten.
One of the most important is the safety of your water supply. Any business with a cold/hot water system needs to take action. Disease causing bacteria such as Legionella will grow in dormant water systems, especially in the warm weather.
Hairdressers, barbers, gyms, hotels, leisure facilities, caravan and camp sites are some of the businesses that need to thoroughly flush their water systems regularly through the shutdown period and again before re opening.
DISCLAIMER; A risk assessment should be made before flushing or disinfecting a water supply to ensure the safety of those involved. The expertise of a competent plumber or heating engineer may be required. Read the HSE advice here.
The following is general guidance
To flush, run the water until the temperature stabilises and let all water run down the drain. Every tap must be turned on to drain away stagnant water. Dismantle, clean and descale removable parts, such as hoses, shower and tap heads and inserts. Flush again. Disinfection of the entire system is needed if the system has not been regularly flushed through the lock down period.
Disinfection can be achieved by temperature – set the heating system to 60°c and run each tap and appliance sequentially for at least 5 minutes. Otherwise a chemical disinfectant could be used – it is recommended that advice is sought before attempting chemical disinfection of a water system. Remember your own safety when flushing/disinfecting a water system, do a risk assessment first.
Every workplace must carry out a Covid Secure risk assessment – if you employ less than five people you do not have to write it down. HM Government have provided advice on how to do this, links below. Contact your trade body – most have issued specific advice.
HM Government have issued several different guides for working safely during coronavirus, these are regularly updated, and new guides issued.
Since the pandemic began Environmental Health Officers have been patrolling Wealden district to check that businesses are complying with the restrictions and giving advise over the telephone.
If you have questions or concerns about the operation of a business please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org