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COVID-19 Impact on Health & Safety Inspections
These are very unusual times, with new measures being introduced to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
ISI is fully available for support, with team members working from home as far as possible to ensure continuity of service to our customers.
Statutory inspection time limits still apply
A number of customers have asked whether the statutory time limits for safety inspections still apply. At the time of writing, they do.
In a recent bulletin, The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that it was aware of concerns relating to the examination of equipment that is subject to statutory inspection time limits. However, it is not considering issuing exemptions or relaxation of the requirements although they recognise this is a fluid situation and this position is constantly under review.
So, duty-holders still have a legal responsibility to maintain work equipment and carry out thorough examinations, written schemes and Statutory Inspections. Under certain circumstances with the agreement of a suitable competent person, some legislation does allow thorough examinations/statutory inspections to be postponed to a later date. Even if such options are taken, it remains the duty-holders responsibility to ensure that the equipment is safe to use.
The HSE also offered guidance to engineering companies, saying “If engineering companies are suffering shortages in their own resources, they should consider focusing this resource/expertise on equipment in premises where the most vulnerable are located such as hospitals, care homes and infrastructure which is essential to the running of the country.”
The HSE has published a guidance note on the obligations to carry out thorough examination and testing of equipment during the coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak. Read the HSA document here.
Specific measures being taken at ISI
To ensure the safety of our staff and customers, we have made some changes to the way our engineers go about undertaking examinations.
All site visits are planned in advance and we ask our customers to ensure that we have a clear area to work in, so that we can maintain a safe distance from other people at all times during the inspection.
- We are following the government’s advice regarding personal hygiene and have provided additional disposable gloves and overalls to our engineers.
- Examination reports are being sent by email only, to avoid any potential risk through the handling of hard copy reports.
- Our support team is available to answer any queries, book new appointments etc although our offices are closed to visitors, so please call us on 01675 481779 or complete an enquiry from.
Rest assured, we are closely monitoring Government and HSE advice and will update this statement as needed.
Posted by Graham Higginson 26/3/20, last updated 5/1/21