To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of enforcing social distancing in workplaces on (a) limiting the spread of covid-19 and (b) ensuring workplace safety.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uses a range of strategies, including regulatory activities, policy and research; which contribute to and maintain Great Britain’s world class safety record. This blend of approaches has been used in dealing with Covid-19 risks (including social distancing) in the workplace through, for example; inspections, investigations of workplace concerns, provision of advice (with over 3 million Covid-19 webpage views), influencing duty holders through third parties such as the Construction Leadership Council and trade bodies and supply chain work. In addition, HSE has utilised its research work and proactive communications. A measure of the success that HSE’s contribution has made can be seen in the very high levels of compliance with Covid-19 guidance that HSE is seeing in the workplace. HSE has continually reviewed its approach, during the Covid-19 outbreak, to ensure it can respond quickly and efficiently as needed.