Each year, the HSE reviews RIDDOR notification data to identify which sectors and activities have contributed to injuries and near misses. Those findings are then shared with local authority health and safety departments, signposting the compliance issues that should take top priority during planned inspections. 

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the number of local authority visits has risen sharply in the past few weeks. And while coronavirus controls continue to be a key focus, there are other critical safety requirements, tasks and training issues that you can’t afford to ignore. 

Our sector specialists outline the H&S hazards local authorities will be looking for – and provide expert tips to solve them before your inspector steps onsite.    


  • Premises likely to contain asbestos – generally those built before 2000 – should have in place an asbestos management survey and plan, which locates the presence of toxic fibres, restricts exposure and prevents future problems. 
  • Southalls can undertake an asbestos survey and management plan, so please contact us if you’d like us to provide a quote.

Falls from height 

  • Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace fatalities in the UK, so it’s essential to recognise the risks across your site. 
  • Fragile roofs and skylights can be found in many properties, so implement repair work where necessary. 
  • Block unauthorised access to roofs, mezzanines and ladders.
  • Manage contractors undertaking work at height, verifying they have the right training and credentials to safely carry out the job. 

Failure of shop signage 

  • Over the past few years there have been a number of serious or fatal injuries caused by shop signage failing, falling and hitting customers or staff. 
  • Consider planned inspection and maintenance of signage and make safe any damaged signage until it can be repaired.

Delivery driver welfare

  • Onsite toilet facilities should be made available for delivery drivers visiting your premises. 
  • This overlaps with current COVID-19 requirements, ensuring toilets are kept clean and contact points are regularly sanitised. 

Access risks of large commercial waste and recycling bins

  • There have been numerous cases where members of the public have gained entry to commercial bins for shelter and then been injured or killed when those containers were emptied into collection and compaction vehicles.
  • Where there are indications that individuals may be accessing bins, consider prevention measures such as the addition of lockable lids. 

Pedestrian/vehicle collisions 

  • Review your workplace transport risk assessment, making sure, wherever possible, pedestrians are separated from vehicles by using barriers and marked walkways. 
  • Confirm that markings are in good condition and signage is clearly visible by both drivers and people on foot.

Manual handling

  • Ensure staff have completed manual handling training and, where appropriate, you have undertaken manual handling assessments.
  • Provide manual handling aides, such as trolleys, sack trucks and pallet trucks, and check they remain in good condition and are used where necessary (such as areas pinpointed in risk assessments).

For further guidance and practical support on preparing for your next health and safety inspection, speak to our builders merchant compliance professionals on 0345 257 4015 or email safetyadvice@southalls.com