HSE Construction Health Inspection Initiative – October 2020

This month the HSE is carrying out its latest construction health inspection initiative with health and safety inspectors targeting construction sites across Great Britain.

Here are the details:

  • The initiative will run from Monday 5 – Friday 30 October
  • As with previous health inspection initiatives, the focus will be on respiratory risks.
  • COVID-security is a critical health risk and will also be covered by the initiative.

The purpose of the Construction Health Inspection initiative is two-fold:

(i) To support HSE’s continuing strategy to improve the health of construction workers.

(ii) To align with the wider government agenda to get people back to workplaces safely and so support economic recovery.

Of course, as ever, be aware that the Inspectors will also be looking to ensure that you are carrying out your projects to the letter of the law. You’ll know a Covid-19 Risk Assessment is needed for every project. But be aware that non-compliance of your CDM 2015 duties is a criminal offence. A Construction Phase Health & Safety Plan is also required by law – whether you’re fitting a kitchen or building a house. Health & Safety Xpert 2020 identifies the relevant documents for each job. And the Premium version also sets out when you’ll need them. So you know where we are!

Below is the HSE’s guidance to ensure you are operating a Covid-19 secure business:

Risk assessment

You should start by updating your risk assessment to manage the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your business. This will help you to understand what you should do to work safely and protect people.

Social distancing

Where possible you should keep people 2 metres apart. If this is not viable, keeping 1 metre apart with risk mitigation is acceptable.

Cleaning, hygiene and handwashing

Keeping your workplace clean and frequent handwashing reduces the potential for coronavirus to spread. It is a critical part of making and keeping your business COVID-secure.

Talk to workers and provide information

Consult and involve people in the steps you’re taking to manage the risk of coronavirus in your workplace so you can:

  • explain the changes you’re planning to work safely
  • make sure changes will work and hear their ideas
  • continue to operate your business safely

Working from home

If your people are working from home you should:

  • provide the equipment they need, for example a computer, phone and videoconferencing facilities
  • keep in regular contact with them, making sure you discuss their wellbeing

Vulnerable workers

Make sure you consider the risk to workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus and put controls in place to reduce that risk.

The information above can also be found here on the HSE website.


HBXL’s own software is here to support the construction industry

HBXL Building Software’s Health & Safety software Health & Safety Xpert 2020 includes 9 Covid-19 documents including Site and Office Covid-19 Risk Assessments (required by law).

Our estimating software EstimatorXpress 2020, now includes Covid-19 estimating calculator. This new calculator covers four key aspects – PPE, hygiene equipment, signage, plus extra Labour/Sub-contractors e.g. cleaners and extra management.

There are also optional new Covid-19 profiles you can apply to your Gantt charts, which in simple terms keeps inside trades such as plumbing and electrics 1st fix trades separate, and similarly keeping joinery, electrics and plumbing 2nd fixes separate too.

Additional links and resources

HBXL’s own round up of health and safety advice


HBXL’s advice on legal implications of managing Covid-19


The HBXL Q & A on dealing with health & safety during the crisis


Quick tips on using hand tools safely during the Covid-19 crisis


Practical examples of the construction industry responding to the safe-guarding issues relating to Covid-19


Mental wellbeing during the pandemic from Mind charity


NHS advice on anxiety