A health and safety inspector writes on a clipboard

HSE warns businesses not to become complacent as COVID restrictions remain

After the UK Government announced it was delaying the full lifting of COVID restrictions in England by four weeks, the HSE is warning that businesses need to continue to have COVID-secure measures in place that are in line with the latest Government guidance

The HSE says it’s vital at this stage that businesses don’t become complacent and continue to have measures in place to manage the risk from Coronavirus and ensure workers are following them.

The HSE is working with local authorities to carry out spot checks and inspections on businesses. These are taking place in all areas, to check that businesses have COVID-secure measures in place to keep workers, visitors and customers safe.

What happens during spot checks and inspections?
The HSE calls and visits businesses to check the COVID-secure measures they have in place and provides guidance and advice if required. Where businesses aren’t managing the risk, action will be taken. This can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices and stopping certain work practices until they are made safe. Where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.

Angela Storey, Director of Transformation and Operational Services at HSE, said: 

“The UK Government has confirmed a four-week delay to the lifting of restrictions, as the Delta strain of COVID-19 becomes the dominant variant in England, with infection numbers rising across Britain.

“Whilst we recognise that this news will come as a disappointment to a number of businesses, especially those in the hospitality sector, businesses must continue to have measures in place to manage the risks, to help protect the health of local communities as well as to support the local and national UK economy.

“We will also continue to work with local authorities, checking that businesses have COVID-secure measures in place, and providing guidance and advice where needed. As we continue to carry out spot checks and inspections our support of cross-government work remains. We are committed to helping employers and employees as they work through the pandemic. All workplaces are in scope for spot checks, which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced call or visit to check they are COVID-secure.”

Ensure your workplace is safe by following the guidance on being COVID-secure. Further information on spot checks and inspections is available on the HSE website.