Health and safety | UK Regulatory Outlook June 2023
Published on 28th Jun 2023
HSE issues warning for workers in hot weather | Home Office publishes draft standard terrorism evaluation and guidance | HSE approves trial to use drones to spray pesticides around railway infrastructure
HSE issues warning for workers in hot weather
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has this month issued a warning on the risks to workers of hot weather and reminded employers of their duties to protect employees working both inside and outside in extreme heat.
The recent yellow heat-health alert issued, and the record high temperatures recorded last year, should "prompt employers to take action to protect those working both inside and outside in extreme heat." The warning notes that heat should be treated like other work place hazards and as such employers should assess the health and safety risks posed by the high heats and take necessary action to manage these risks. Businesses should review what measures they have in place to protect workers who work both inside and outside to ensure they are protected from the risks of working in high heat.
Home Office publishes draft standard terrorism evaluation and guidance
On 2 June, the Home Office published the draft standard terrorism evaluation and draft standard terrorism evaluation guidance which outlines how businesses will need to evaluate under the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill (see our previous Regulatory Outlook for more).
The draft template tells businesses how to evaluate: the threat in the context of their premises; who may need information or training and how to deliver this; and who should do what in an attack. The guidance provides additional information and context, as well as examples of information that can be included within businesses plans.
HSE approves trial to use drones to spray pesticides around railway infrastructure
The HSE has recently approved a trial that allows drones to spray plants and weeds growing along railway infrastructure. This trial will allow them to spray chemical herbicides on railway bridges, tunnel portals and viaducts. Following the trial, this technology may be used in other industries.
The aim is that this new technology will reduce the risk of injury to workers who would otherwise have sprayed pesticides manually along railways. HSE's chief scientific adviser, Professor Andrew Curran, stated that while the HSE will need to "consider both the environmental implications and potential consequences for human health", this new technology could have "a positive impact on safety and the environment."
The trial provides businesses with an interesting insight on how the regulator is exploring new innovative technology within the world of health and safety and illustrates how new technology can be used to reduce the risk of injury to employees.