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HSE Spot Inspections on the rise: businesses should beware

Gateley Legal

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A recent article in the IOSH magazine reports that, since the lockdown restrictions have eased, the Health and Safety Executive has increased its inspection rates exponentially.  

The article confirms that HSE Inspectors are now visiting workplaces across the whole spectrum of sectors and demonstrating that they are back with a vengeance.  

A new style of spot check

Between 9 March and 29 June the HSE received over 23,000 Covid 19 related contacts from a myriad of sources, including concerned workers and members of the public, about returning to work or using business premises during the pandemic.

In addition to this, the HSE confirmed it has now conducted 2,383 spot checks between 26 May and 2 July 2020.  The spot checks are not just the usual unannounced inspection, but also a new style of phone inspection.  These phone checks included obtaining visual evidence such as photos and video footage from the businesses themselves.

A HSE spokesperson stated that "Putting duty holders on the spot, and checking how they are managing their risks, has always been part of our regulatory approach. This has continued to be the case throughout the pandemic…"

This adaptation to the new normal demonstrates that the HSE fully intend to pursue its remit with renewed vigour. 

As we are all struggling to cope with the post-Covid 19 world; it is worth remembering that statutory duties will be upheld by the regulator come what may.  

Chris Grainger of the Gateley Legal Regulatory team confirms that he and his colleagues have been inundated with requests over the last few weeks.  

"We are now starting to see the HSE emerge from the lockdown period: looking at the figures in the IOSH report, it seems inspectors are not taking any prisoners.  Businesses ought to be wary and make sure they are on top of Covid 19 controls and they have access to competent advice just in case."

More information

For more information regarding HSE inspections, contact Chris, our expert listed below who is available for questions and queries if you have any concerns.

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