Tip-off led HSE inspections up 43% says Pinsent Masons

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The number of HSE inspections triggered by tip-offs soared by 43% over the past year, Pinsent Masons has reported.

Businesses must be on their guard with statistics showing HSE increasingly responsive to whistleblowers, Pinsent Masons warned. Simon Joyston-Bechal, specialist health & safety lawyer and partner at Pinsent Masons said: "Businesses need to be even more vigilant about maintaining high standards of Health & Safety, as HSE is now considerably more likely to act on tip-offs it receives." He warned: "Businesses with unaddressed Health & Safety issues should not be surprised if an HSE inspector knocks on their door, after being tipped off by an employee or customer." Tip-off based inspections by HSE increased from 2,429 in 2011-12 to 3,475 this year, Pinsent Masons said. The regulator can respond to whistle blowing from ex-employees, complaints by local residents or customers and supplier, Pinsent Masons added. The data should provide a sobering thought for those looking at cutting back on health and safety spend concluded Joyston-Bechal. "If HSE decides that cost-cutting was a primary reason for a breach of Health & Safety regulations, it is more likely to pursue prosecution of senior management and sentences are likely to be higher if a conviction is secured."