Unannounced HSE Visits - Are You Ready?
We have seen an upsurge in unannounced HSE visits to Manufacturing Companies across Yorkshire over the last six months, which leads us to conclude that they are much better staffed, focussed and organised. The inspections are, in theory, intelligence led but that may be being loosely interpreted by the Regional Offices, allowing them to look at what they perceive to be underperforming sectors. Inspections particularly seem to be homing in on how risk is being dealt with in the workplace as well as health issues such as noise, dust, vibration. This is including both measuring and dealing with the issues raised (including any required health surveillance).
The answer for companies is obviously to have a rigorous Risk Assessment process in place which properly identifies these issues in the first place and then to deal with them effectively. Any companies out there who still don't have effective risk assessments and safe systems of work in place need to get these done as soon as possible. Without these, in place, any company would be a sitting duck for adverse attention from the HSE.
They have several ways of financially hurting you including written advice, Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices where you are charged (around £122 per hour plus VAT) for the inspection, the report writing time and time to return and re-inspect. You obviously still have to do the rectification work as required on the notice as well.
Don't think it won't happen to you. The inspectors are visiting workplaces every day of the week and it is only a matter of time before it is your turn.
If you are concerned at all that you are vulnerable should you get an unannounced visit then please give us a ring on 01924 261 789 and we can look at doing a site audit to assist you.