HSE to increase COVID-secure spot checks

The Health and Safety Executive is to increase the number of spot checks and inspections it has been carrying out to ensure workplaces are COVID-secure. Employers found to fall short of the expected level of risk management may face action and even prosecution.

To protect workers, visitors and customers, employers must make sure that everyone is following the measures that have been put in place to manage the risks from coronavirus. HSE has been using various ways to gather intelligence including physical site visits, phone calls, photography and video footage.

The organisation has also drawn attention this week to the recently updated guidance for the construction sector. The Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures (SOP V7) are based on government guidance on working safely during coronavirus on construction sites and for other outdoor work in England.

The changes in the latest version include updated guidance on self-isolation and shielding and the removal of the requirement to display a QR code in site canteens.

Build UK has a separate, and regularly updated flowchart on the actions to take if a worker has COVID-19 or needs to self-isolate to reflect the latest Public Health England guidance which requires employers to contact PHE if they identify five or more cases within 14 days.

Other restrictions and separate advice applies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Image courtesy of the Structural Timber Association

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