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February 22, 2011

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Regulators pool safety-inspection resources

Hertsmere Borough Council has partnered with the HSE and other neighbouring local authorities to launch a flexible warranting scheme.

The agreement will allow officers from any of the organisations to take action at any workplace in the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire region. It will also provide more opportunities for councils in the area to work together and develop best practice in dealing with particular issues, such as asbestos.

Hertsmere Borough Council’s assistant chief environmental health officer, Paul Sawyer, said: “Before this scheme, we could only take action on issues in certain workplaces, such as shops and offices, and the HSE looked after other premises, such as factories and construction sites. But now for instance, if I am walking passed a building site and see that construction work is spilling out on to the pavement, posing a risk, I can go in and get them to sort it out there and then, whereas before I wouldn’t have had the authority.€

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13 years ago

Generally the coordination of agencies is to be commended.
However common sense needs to apply to ensure the person taking enforcement action has the correct experience to do so or immediately alerts the agency which is still the most experienced.
Experienced specialist inspectors can see potential dangers in their own fields of expertise where others less experienced from other fields may not.
Changing present zones of enforcement agreement could have the opposite effect.