HSE boss calls for ‘renewed vigour’ to make workplaces Covid-secure

Last week, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) new chair used her first blog of 2021 to set out the organisation’s expectations of firms across Great Britain in the coming months.

Sarah Newton, who took over the top job at the HSE last August, reflected on the past year and the impact Covid-19 had, had on communities across the country.

So far during the pandemic, the HSE has completed more than 165,700 Covid-19 spot checks, responded to 210,000 concerns and supported public health bodies on 646 reported outbreaks. It is also leading a Covid-19 national study on the transmission of Covid-19 in the environment.

In her blog, Sarah said that with the anticipated emergency from the dark shadow of the pandemic ‘now is the time to apply renewed vigour to our work enabling Covid-secure workplaces. Drawing on what we are continuously learning from the data and science. With a focus on controlling risk, from identifying it to mitigating for it.’

She added that she believed the vast majority of businesses and workplaces were willing to follow the Government’s advice and make the necessary changes promptly without the HSE having to take enforcement action. However, Sarah added that where the organisation has needed to it has taken enforcement actions against firms that have failed to make their workplaces Covid-secure and that making workplaces Covid-secure is an ‘organisational priority’ for the HSE.

Being Covid-secure means businesses need to keep up-to-date with the latest guidance and put measures in place to manage the risk and protect workers, visitors and customers.

During their calls and visits, the HSE provides advice and guidance, but where businesses are not managing the risk, immediate action will be taken. It will either provide specific advice, stop certain work practices until they are made safe, issue enforcement notices or prosecute where a business fails to comply.

All workplaces are in scope for spot checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check from HSE or an inspection from the local authority, to check they are Covid-secure.

There is advice available on the HSE’s website to help firms become Covid-secure which includes a raft of information about carrying out risk assessments, social distancing, cleaning, hygiene, handwashing, ventilation, air conditioning, advice for workers, working from home and vulnerable workers.

The HSE has also produced a page on its website about spot checks and inspections which includes a video on what firms can expect to happen during an inspection and inspector findings.

If your firm is struggling to cope with the demands of managing your Covid-secure requirements, including creating a Covid-19 Health and Safety Policy, a Covid-19 Risk Assessment and updating your Emergency Action Plan and training records, we can help you.

Acorn Safety Services is a certified Health and Safety Consultancy, providing health, safety and CDM compliance services to our clients across the UK. As a fully impartial company, you can be confident that the advice, guidance and training you receive from us will always be in your best interests.

Our own offices were recently inspected by HSE officers and were found to be Covid-secure compliant with all the necessary documentation and actions in place for staff and visitors.

If you need health and safety advice visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.

Need help with Health and Safety? Request a call back!

Request a call back from one of our expert Health and Safety Consultants who can help you whatever your health and safety, CDM or fire risk needs.

More Health and Safety Articles & News

Brexit And Health And Safety Law

Will BREXIT affect Health & Safety in the UK?

By Neil Munro | 15th May 2020

Now that we are starting to see some positive progression with COVID-19, we can start to look at other pressing matters.  Like, will Brexit affect health and safety in the UK? Thankfully largely ignored during the pandemic, Brexit is still going on in the background, and the UK is still due to officially leave the …

Read more

Building Safety Changes

New Building Safety Regulatory Changes are Just What’s Needed.

By Neil Munro | 30th April 2020

One of the best pieces of good news is the reform to building safety regulatory systems, much of which was instigated as a direct result of the Grenfell Tower disaster.  Announced on the 2nd April by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP and the Ministry …

Read more

How Effective Is Ppe Againsy Covid (Small)

How Effective is PPE Against COVID-19?

By Neil Munro | 15th April 2020

While the majority of us stay at home and observe lock-down procedures, some people – key workers, emergency services, and NHS staff – cannot avoid being in an exposure area and the only real option is protection.  But with so many conflicting pieces of information coming from different sources, how can the people that need …

Read more

Effective Ppe

Effective PPE for COVID-19

By Neil Munro | 1st April 2020

As we enter the third week of lockdown, the Governments advice remains the same; avoid contact with others and stay indoors wherever possible.  But this isn’t realistic for everyone, and many still have to put themselves at risk through their jobs, so protection rather than prevention becomes their priority. But this is a fast-moving situation, …

Read more

Working From Home Safely

Working from Home Safely

By Neil Munro | 18th March 2020

Sounds stupid right?  You just grab your laptop, bugger off home set up on your kitchen table or your sofa…or stay in bed and you’re good to go right?  Well because you or your staff are still at work there are still requirements that should be followed to ensure their safe and remain well. In …

Read more

What Is The Hse’s Advice On Coronavirus?

What is the HSE’s Advice on Coronavirus?

By Neil Munro | 12th March 2020

As the UK sees its biggest daily rise in confirmed coronavirus cases, the Health & safety executive is keen to ensure that those currently unaffected in the workplace remain so. Coronavirus – now officially designated Covid-19 – is fast taking on pandemic proportions globally and the Worlds Governments are scrambling to contain it as much …

Read more

Health And Safety Measures

5 Health and Safety measures to protect your staff!

By Neil Munro | 26th February 2020

Adopting health and safety measures such as safe working practices specific to your industry helps you remain compliant with UK health and safety laws, and protects your staff from injury at work. Some industries are more prone to accidents so the requirements can vary to some degree, but there are fundamental measures that all employers …

Read more

Improving Construction Site Safety This Winter

4 Ways of Improving Construction Site Safety This Winter

By Neil Munro | 3rd January 2020

It can be difficult to manage health and safety on a construction site at any time of year, but given the potential for accidents during the colder months, how can you improve construction site safety this winter? Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics for 2018/19 show 1.31 per 100,000 construction workers suffered a fatal injury …

Read more

Fire Risk Assessment 1

What should you look for in a health and safety consultancy in Northampton?

By Neil Munro | 13th December 2019

Health and safety is commonly seen as a burden for business owners, particularly if there isn’t a suitable person within the firm to deal with issues arising on a day-to-day basis. There is an alternative, however – a good health and safety consultancy in Northampton can provide vital support. As an employer you must provide …

Read more

Construction Health And Safety Inspections

Be proactive with your construction health and safety inspections

By Neil Munro | 25th November 2019

Figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that construction is still one of the most dangerous industries in the UK. Although there’s been a general downward trend in accidents and fatalities over the last 20 years, an average of 30 fatal and 4,872 non-fatal injuries were reported by employers under RIDDOR in …

Read more