Last reviewed 24 November 2020

In the run up to the festive period, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced it will be working with local authorities to inspect businesses in the transport and logistics industry to ensure they are managing the risk of the coronavirus.

The health and safety watchdog says that with the current lockdown restrictions, the demand for online shopping is already high and this is expected to increase over the next weeks. This will also increase demand in the supply chain for the sector.

HSE inspectors and local authority officers will be visiting warehouses and distribution centres across the country to make sure workplaces are Covid-secure and following the relevant guidance.

Being Covid-secure means that businesses need to put in place workplace controls such as social distancing and cleaning arrangements to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus.

The HSE will also be making sure that businesses have suitable toilet and handwashing facilities for all workers, including visiting drivers. They will also check other health and safety matters if required.

Commenting on the initiative, Harvey Wild, Head of HSE’s Transport and Public Services Unit, said, “Employers have a legal duty to protect workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. We encourage businesses to consult with their workers on the changes they put in place to become Covid-secure. This is to provide reassurance for workers and to also increase confidence in customers and the local community…

“We are looking to work with employers but where we find they’re not managing the risk, HSE and local authority officers will take action. This can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices and stopping certain work practices until they are made safe. Where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.”