HSE Advice on the Decision to Carry out Work
The decision to carry out work should made in accordance with Public Health England (PHE) advice and wider Government guidance on what is considered essential.
Social distancing and shielding are public health measures which have been introduced to reduce the spread of infection and protect those who are most vulnerable to infection because of an underlying health condition. Guidance for employers and businesses on COVID 19 advises employers to ensure that employees from vulnerable groups are supported to stay at home and work from there where possible.
Where HSE identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant PHE guidance to control public health risks, for example, employers not taking actions to socially distance and it is practical to do so, then HSE will consider a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks, ranging from the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements with the PHE guidance.
In terms of 'annual' re-inspections it is up to asbestos professionals and others to decide if the work needs to go ahead under the current wider Government advice or can be deferred. HSE is not best placed to determine what work is considered essential in each case. The government and industry has published general guidelines together with information on site operating procedures to be adopted.