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9th July 2020

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Commence Spot Checks on Re-Opening Employers

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Since lockdown easing measures were announced, UK employers have new guidance measures to follow in order to make their workplaces COVID-19 safe.

As was to be expected, the Health & Safety regulator – the HSE – have received excessive numbers of complaints and concerns relating to COVID. Between 9th March and 29th June, 23,569 COVID-related contacts were submitted to them either as concerns, contacts or calls.

Since confirming that proactive inspections were to return post lockdown, inspectors have now started to spot check employers places of work across a variety of industry sectors, focusing on ensuring that correct control measures are being implemented to protect workers from COVID-19.

3,856 employers were contacted between the dates of 26th May and 2nd July, with 2,386 spot checks conducted via a mixture of telephone interview and visits to operational premises/sites. Where telephone contact had been made, pictorial/video evidence was required to satisfy inspectors of the measures implemented.

295 follow up checks have since been conducted on those employers where unsatisfactory initial evidence was provided. 41 of those followed up on remain subject to further investigation with the balance having been able to satisfy the regulator on their second check.

A spokesperson for the HSE provided the following statement to IOSH Magazine:

‘Putting duty holders on the spot, and checking on how they are managing risks, has always been part of our regulatory approach. This has continued to be the case throughout the pandemic. We’ve responded to workplace concerns and are inspecting some workplaces in response. This will continue as more businesses return to work.’

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