Health and Safety Spot Checks and Inspections During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Enforcement officers are out and about, carrying out spot checks and inspections on all types of businesses in all areas to ensure they are COVID-secure.

Being COVID-secure means being adaptable to the current guidance and putting measures in place to control the risk of coronavirus to protect workers and others.

As inspections are ongoing, HSE has been utilising a number of different ways to gather intelligence and reach out to businesses with a combination of site visits, phone calls and through collection of supporting visual evidence such as photos and video footage.

Some of the most common issues that HSE and local authority inspectors are finding include:

  • Failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing.
  • Failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime – particularly at busy times of the day.
  • Failing to provide access to welfare facilities allowing employees to frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap.

The enforcement authority is working closely with local authorities, assisting them in the sectors that they regulate such as hospitality and retail.

By calling and visiting premises and then speaking directly to employers and employees, they are checking the measures put in place are in line with government guidance.

Inspectors will make COVID-secure checks as part of their normal role in visiting workplaces during the pandemic. To ensure they reach as many workplaces as possible nationally the HSE are working with trained and approved partners to deliver the spot check calls and visits.

HSE appoints Inspectors under Section 19 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA).  The HSE instrument of appointment, commonly referred to as a warrant is an official legal document that confirms that the named inspector is empowered to enforce the laws which are within HSE’s field of responsibility.

Officers that visit premises will be carrying identification from their business and a letter of authorisation from the HSE. If you wish to verify an officer that calls or visits your organisation, call 0300 790 6896.

If you receive a call or visit from them, once their identification has been confirmed, you should participate in the spot check as failure to do so could lead to enforcement action.

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