In a joint statement with the TUC and the CBI, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has said it could shut construction sites down that are failing to implement social distancing rules
Although the HSE has suspended routine inspections, it has said where it considers concerns and complaints around social distancing, any intervention and action will be taken in accordance with HSE’s established enforcement policy.
Potential actions HSE might take are also listed here.
In the statement, it said: “This is an extremely worrying time for firms and workers. We know many workers, union reps and employers have questions and concerns about safe working – especially for those continuing to work away from home.
“This joint statement between the Health and Safety Executive, the TUC and the CBI is intended to clarify the position. The health and safety of workers remains paramount. Employers are and must continue to provide workers with information about risks to their health and the actions their employers must take.”
It added: “Social distancing is a key public health measure introduced by Public Health England to reduce the spread of infection. Most employers are going to great lengths to ensure social distancing wherever possible. The HSE, CBI and TUC wish to publicly support these efforts.
“Firms that can safely stay open and support livelihoods should not be forced to close by misunderstandings about government guidance.
“But if it comes to the HSE’s attention that employers are not complying with the relevant Public Health England guidance (including enabling social distancing where it is practical to do so), HSE will consider a range of actions ranging from providing specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices, including prohibition notices.”
If a worker is concerned about health and safety measures, which cannot be resolved through speaking with their employer or trade union, HSE says they should contact the relevant enforcement agency – either their local authority or the HSE through https://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/concerns.htm.
For firms who are unsure about the guidance, please visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/social-distancing-coronavirus.htm.