Each month we provide an update on the expected activity of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as well as highlighting some key statistics and prosecutions from the previous month.
165,000 spot checks since the pandemic began
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, it is no surprise that the HSE has maintained a focus on assessing Covid-security in the workplace. This is evidenced by the recently published statistic, which notes that 165,000 Covid-secure spot checks have been carried out during this period. It has also been confirmed that the HSE has responded to a total of 210,000 concerns relating to Covid-19 in the workplace, thus reinforcing the need for businesses to continue prioritising this area of compliance.
Although at this stage you may be confident in the Covid-security of your working measures, it is highly recommended that you review these arrangements regularly and in line with the government’s lockdown roadmap. As of 29 March, some social restrictions have eased in England, but this is no excuse for your workplace safety efforts to fall by the wayside. HSE inspections are ongoing for businesses in all sectors and locations, with each one requiring a Covid-19 Risk Assessment to ensure compliance.
£3million in fines and two prison sentences
Prosecutions in March covered separate incidents involving two fatalities and 10 major life changing injuries or illnesses. These prosecutions led to fines exceeding £3million and two prison sentences spanning a combined total of four years. Both prison sentences were related to unsafe acts and conditions where no injury was sustained, demonstrating that severe penalties can be issued based upon potential for harm alone.
Commonly identified issues across March’s cases include:
- Unsuitable risk assessments
- Unsafe systems of work, including rescue arrangements
- Poor training
- Inadequate protective measures, including barriers, restrain, and PPE
- Insufficient supervision
Are your risk assessments suitable and sufficient? Do you have adequate protective measures in place?
AHR Consultants can act as your competent person, provide onsite risk assessments, and deliver training, each helping you to prevent accidents and establish suitable evidence of your business’ precautionary efforts. With our extensive range of training courses, you can be confident that your employees have the knowledge to do their jobs safely.