Often, if you get a visit from the dreaded HSE Inspector, you can be left feeling that they have focused on some strange things. These might seem completely arbitrary and not a reflection of the true hazards present in your business. Actually, the Inspector’s focus is anything but strange! Each year the HSE identifies a number of issues and launches campaigns to ensure that we target these areas.
This year the HSE plans to concentrate solely on health, due to statistics being released which show work-related ill health leads to more premature deaths and greater losses to the economy than work-related accidents.
The three areas of health that are likely to be focused on are:
- Occupational Stress and related mental ill health
- Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s)
- Occupational Lung Disease
To combat the effect of stress the HSE will be releasing guidance to build on the existing management standards and they will be targeting the industries that have the highest levels of stress; healthcare and education in particular.
A similar approach will be taken to deal with the high levels of MSD’s, however the industries that will be targeted are Food Manufacturing and Construction.
For occupational lung disease focus will be given to the four greatest concerns:
The HSE will also be taking a sector-by-sector approach to their focus this year:
For Food Manufacturing:
- Controlling exposure to substances that cause occupational lung disease.
- Reducing MSD’s and work related stress.
- Preventing serious accidents involving heavy loads during maintenance activities and catastrophic events.
- Particular focus on occupational lung disease and MSD’s
- Supporting small businesses to achieve improved risk control and management
- Embedding the principles of CDM Regulations 2015
HSE inspectors are influenced by the above strategy as to where they visit and what sort of questions they will ask. To prevent your company from being caught off guard you need to be prepared. If you have any questions about these issues within your workplace please contact the Health & Safety team on 01302 341 344.
By Kris Kerins BSc (Hons) Cert CII – Risk Services Adviser