Health & safety law and enforcement fit to protect the workers of the 21st century

Free IER expert webinar

30th March 2021 – 10:00 am - 1:30 pm

About this event

**Update – thanks to sponsorship this event is now free**

Workplace infections account for a significant proportion of all Covid cases. An analysis of PHE data conducted by Professor Rory O’Neill, one of the co-authors of HSE and Covid at work, revealed that 40% of people testing positive for Covid-19 reported prior ‘workplace or education’ activity.

Meanwhile, a survey of call centre workers by co-author Professor Phil Taylor revealed that over one in three (35.4%) were seated less than two metres away from their colleagues in contravention of social distancing rules. This is despite a warning from the government’s own SAGE advisors that reducing social distancing to one metre rather than two could increase transmission ten-fold.

In May 2020, the government declared workplaces “Covid-secure” and reassured workers that this would be enforced through a £14m package for HSE ‘spot checks’. But IER’s analysis found strong evidence that risk was not sufficiently mitigated in workplaces because Covid-19 rules were not adequately enforced due to an underfunded, light-touch approach through an understaffed agency that failed to regulate the risk to workers and communities.

The magnitude of this risk has since been tragically borne out by large workplace outbreaks such as that seen at the DVLA’s Swansea offices, while the government’s underwhelming response is reflected in the complete absence of prosecutions of employers known to be breaking Covid rules.

Learn more about the report, the project, and be part of the debate by joining us at this full-morning event.


Prof Phil Taylor, University of Strathclyde – Covid and the workplace: setting the scene

Lord John Hendy QC & Prof Michael Ford QC – Covid-19 and UK’s H&S law

Prof Steve Tombs, Open University– Workplace oversight and enforcement during covid

Janet Newsham, Hazards –H&S what activists want

More speaker to be confirmed