What to expect from HSE COVID-19 spot checks
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has been given £14 million by the Government to ensure that businesses have carried out suitable and sufficient COVID-19 risk assessments. Currently HSE COVID-19 spot check inspections are a three-stage process.
Stage One – Screening call
A phone call will be made by an employee of CIVICA, HSE’s contracted representatives. Various questions will be asked to gauge whether your business has suitable precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you want clarification that it is HSE calling:
- You will be given the HSE CAT (Complaints and Advice Team) phone line number (0300 003 1747), to check the legitimacy of the call.
- A time will be arranged for the CIVICA representative to call back and continue with the Stage One process.
Stage Two – In-depth questioning
If your business fails Stage One, in terms of giving satisfactory answers to the questions, you will be called again by an HSE employee who will question your controls more thoroughly.
You will be advised, during the Stage One and Stage Two phone calls, that a failure to engage with the phone call process, will result in a visit by an HSE inspector.
Stage Three – Spot check by HSE Inspector
If your business fails Stage One and Stage Two, a spot check inspection will be made by an HSE inspector. Improvement and prohibition notices may be served to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and a prosecution could follow later. Fines of up to £10,000 for not following COVID-SECURE guidelines may be awarded.
An inspection may also result from a RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) report. Employers must report under the RIDDOR when:
- an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to COVID-19. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
- a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
- a worker dies because of occupational exposure to COVID-19. This must be reported as a case of disease.
If a COVID-19 outbreak is found to be a result of your business not implenting a suitable risk assessment or following the Government’s COVID-SECURE guidelines, you may find that your company’s insurance policy is invalid if those affected choose to sue you.
Safer Food Scores COVID-19 compliance consultants provide COVID-19 management systems which include risk assessments, safe methods, monitoring records and signage. Your COVID-19 checks can be digitised using our health and safety monitoring app available for iOS and Android devices. We can also help you achieve COVID-SAFER UK accreditation which would give your staff, customers and visitors confidence that you are following best practice. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.