New and increased COVID-19 spot checks throughout the UK by the HSE.
COVID -19 spot checks and inspections update: A new Variant of Concern is spreading in some parts of the UK.
Further advice from the HSE is that they are increasing their spot checks in all work environments for COVID compliance. Due to the new variant and increase in confirmed cases HSE spot checks shall increase primarily in the hot spots – Bolton, Leicester, Kirklees, London borough of Hounslow, Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, North Tyneside.
The Variant of Concern which was first identified in India has been found in small clusters around the UK. In response, the government is working with relevant local councils on surge testing, and to support these efforts the HSE is speaking directly to businesses during spot checks.
The HSE is carrying out increased spot checks and inspections in areas where transmission rates are rising, to help arrest the spread of the new Variant of Concern.
To minimise the risk of infection in the workplace, HSE is carrying out spot checks and inspections on businesses to ensure they are COVID-secure. We are doing this by calling, visiting and inspecting all types of businesses, in all areas, to check the measures they’ve put in place are in line with the current guidance.
The HSE are also working closely with local authorities assisting them in their targeting of premises in the sectors they regulate such as hospitality and retail.
During the checks and inspections, we provide advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors. Where businesses are not managing this, we will take immediate action in one of the following ways:
- providing specific advice
- stopping certain work practices until they are made safe
- issuing enforcement notices
- prosecution where a business fails to comply
Being COVID-secure means being adaptable to the current guidelines, and HSE’s approach will adapt as workplaces in different sectors manage the coronavirus risks that apply to them. Most employers want to do the right thing, and HSE is here to help and provide advice.
If you receive a call or visit from us, you should participate in the spot check as failure to do so could lead to enforcement action.
Please note, in order to reach as many workplaces as possible nationally and to support the core work of our inspectors, we are working with trained and approved partners to deliver the spot check calls and visits.
Officers that visit premises will be carrying identification from their business and a letter of authorisation from HSE. Calls currently come up as an unknown number. If you wish to verify an officer that calls or visits your organisation, please call 0300 790 6896.
You can find more HSE advice on making your workplace COVID-secure.
During the spot checks and inspections, the HSE will provide guidance where required but, where businesses are not managing the risk, immediate action will be taken.
All businesses should have a COVID risk assessment and it should be updated regularly.