22nd Jan, 2021 Read time 2 minutes

HSE Executive defends action on Covid workplace safety complaints

The Health and Safety Executive has publically defended their actions in regards to Covid workplace safety after a wave of complaints about unscrupulous bosses who may not be enforcing protective measures. 


Sarah Albon, CEO of the Health and Safety Executive has defended the measures taken by the governing body which is responsible for health and safety enforcement in the UK. Over 134,000 complaints have been sent to the HSE Executive with 192 enforcement notices given.

32,000 site inspections carried out by the HSE Executive

The HSE Executive has carried out 32,000 site inspections as a way of uncovering and discouraging against workplaces not following the rules.

Ms Albon, when interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme discussed the role of employers to take an active role when it comes to the proper enforcement of workplace Covid safety procedures.

“It’s really about employers’ willingness to work with us co-operatively to put things right before it gets to the point of formal notices”: Sarah Albon

The task of the HSE Executive is new, and the number of workplaces that could be flouting the rules means it is a difficult job to root out the ones that are failing to comply.

Current rules around working through Covid

The current lockdown restrictions mean those that can work from home should. They are only allowed to go into the office if their job cannot be done remotely. The confusion and worry about the degree to which work can be done adequately at home means many have questioned whether or not bosses can force workers into the workplace. 

In situations where this it is not possible to work from home, Employers must carry out the appropriate Covid-19 risk assessment and create a ‘specific’ policy that works to deal with the virus. In other words, there has to be notable actions and steps taken to ensure the virus is controlled as much as possible in the workplace.

Steps that should be followed include keeping a distance of at least 2 metres and frequently cleaning work surfaces. You should also minimise unnecessary trips to the office and different departments at work.

It is also worth stating that employers still have a duty of care over their workers even when they are operating remotely. This means you should educate the relevant staff on who is responsible for home workers and how individuals can work from home safely.

HSE Network
Article by: HSE Network

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