Stakeholder eBulletin: 17 November 2020

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HSE Stakeholder eBulletin

Workplace spot checks continuing

HSE is continuing to conduct spot checks and inspections on workplaces.

We are carrying out spot checks by calling and visiting workplaces, often unannounced, putting employers on the spot to make sure they are following government guidelines on being COVID-secure.


In order to reach as many workplaces as possible nationally and to support the core work of our inspectors, we are working with trained and approved partners to deliver the spot check calls and visits.


Officers that visit premises will be carrying identification from their business and a letter of authorisation from HSE. If you wish to verify who it is calling you or the officer at your door is working for HSE, please call 0300 790 6896.


HSE is supporting businesses proving advice and guidance on how to manage the risks posed by the virus in the workplace. Most of the checks HSE undertakes indicate that businesses are making workplace adjustments in line with the recommended COVID-secure guidance.


More information on spot checks and inspections and guidance on being COVID-secure is available.


For all the latest information and advice on health and safety during the pandemic, please visit our coronavirus website.

Coronavirus guidance relating to national restrictions in England

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government has issued the following rules:

Stay at home except for specific purposes including: work, where it can not be done at home, attending school and other reasons including:

  • to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place - with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household
  • for any medical reasons, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid risk of injury or harm - such as domestic abuse
  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible
  • to visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer


Do not gather with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes

  • You should minimise time spent outside your home and when around other people ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble
  • You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household - meaning the people you live with - or support bubble

Businesses to close

  • all non-essential retail will close including leisure centres and gyms, entertainment venues such as theatres, hair, beauty and nail salons.
  • Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open

Further guidance on the restrictions is available on GOV.UK, while information is also available on current restrictions in Scotland and Wales.

More rapid COVID-19 tests to be rolled out across England

Over half a million rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests will be sent out by NHS Test and Trace to local public health leaders this week, signalling the next phase of the Government’s plan to expand asymptomatic testing for coronavirus.

Test kits will be issued to over 50 directors of public health across England this week, to enable local teams to direct and deliver community testing based on their local knowledge. Each will receive a batch of 10,000 antigen lateral flow devices as part of a new pilot to enable them to start testing priority groups.


Directors of public health will determine how to prioritise the allocation of these new tests, based on the specific needs of their communities, and will determine how people in the local area are tested. They will be supported by NHS Test and Trace to expand testing programmes in their area through access to training and clinical and operational guidance.


This initial 600,000 batch will then be followed up with a weekly allocation of lateral flow tests.


You can find more information on tests here.


Guidance is also available outlining the COVID-19 contact tracing arrangements for workplaces in Scotland and Wales.

Changes ahead as the transition period ends: Act now

The UK has left the EU and new rules for business with the EU start in January 2021.

The transition period will end on 31 December 2020 and will not be extended. While the government continues to negotiate with the EU, there are actions your business can take now. 


There is specific guidance on chemicals and equipment and machinery


HSE will also be hosting a series of podcasts in the coming weeks to provide more information on the changes to how chemicals will be regulated from 1 January 2021. Subscribe here for free access.


You can also stay up to date with the latest developments by signing up to receive a weekly email bulletin from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

You can get all the latest news and updates from HSE across a range of industries and topics.

Subscribe to our eBulletins here

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