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Coronavirus: Health & Safety Latest
Updated 17th April 2020
For businesses continuing operations throughout this period, in whatever capacity, the legal obligations around maintenance and inspection of plant and equipment remain in place. The HSE have produced guidance for businesses who are facing challenges with meeting their legal obligations to carry out statutory Thorough Examination and Test of plant and equipment. Making specific reference to the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR), the HSE have reminded duty holders that they must ensure plant and equipment remains safe to use.
Many businesses continue to operate throughout these challenging times, in new and innovative ways. They are providing essential services and products and are doing so while observing strict government instructions and public health guidance.
While commitment to continued operations and the innovation being seen is to be admired, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) released a joint statement with the TUC & CBI clarifying its position and reaffirming that the health and safety of workers remains paramount. The regulator has stated that businesses that can safely remain open should do so – but that they must comply with Public Health England Guidance or risk action being taken against them.
RIDDOR and COVID-19
The HSE has also provided guidance regarding application of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to cases of COVID-19. Guidelines on the limited and specific situations in which a RIDDOR report may be required are outlined.
As always, our H&S Consultants are available to support you in managing your health and safety issues at this difficult time.
The HSE have reiterated their stance on access to welfare facilities for drivers at premises they visit as part of their work. They have stressed that despite temporary and limited relaxation of enforcement of drivers hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales – driver safety must not be compromised and they should not be expected to drive while tired:
Guidance for occupational health providers, appointed doctors and employers on continued health and medical surveillance has been issued. Advice is provided for situations in which workers are subject to Health Surveillance as required by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) and Control of Noise at Work Regulations, amongst other regulations. It includes conditions in which hearing tests/audiometry can be deferred for a period of three months:
Some additional information you may find of help at this time includes:
And our Health & Safety Consultants recently shared guidance on homeworking