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LAC 67/2 (rev4.1) - Targeting local authority interventions

Annex E - Example Case Studies

This Annex provides examples of LA interventions that illustrate the principles and philosophy in intervention planning. In each case the LA considered the evidence available for an intervention and then considered the most appropriate intervention type available to achieve its outcome. The numbers in the text (e.g. 1, 2, 3 etc.) relate to the notes at the bottom of the page and indicate where these types of intervention would be recorded on the LAE1.

a) Legionella

Intended Outcome – improve standards in legionella management.

Following a Health and Safety Laboratory review of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks over 10 years and formal HSE enforcement action on legionella risk control over 5 years, HSE developed a programme to cover the range of legionella risk systems, involving stakeholder engagement, promotion of best practice, education, advice, the publication of safety notices and targeted proactive inspection.

The type of intervention(s) undertaken for different systems was dictated by the level of associated risk. Evaporative cooling systems (cooling towers and evaporative condensers) were identified as posing the highest risk and suitable for targeted proactive inspection. Questionnaires were sent to businesses which allowed HSE to provide LAs with lists of premises for visits prioritised by relative risk. The lists were available on a LA accessible database (LEPID) that allowed LAs to record details of their visits.

Other water systems (hot and cold water supplies and spa pools) were classified as medium risk and required intervention strategies other than proactive inspection.

Nationally, HSE:

Locally, the LA:

b) Moving and handling in the residential care sector

Intended Outcome – better management of risk to staff within care home sector.

An LA was actively engaged in the wider public health agenda that links with issues around staff musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s). They noticed a number of RIDDOR notifications reporting MSD’s to staff in care homes within their authority.

The LA:

The LA determined a course of action that included:

c) Gas safety in Indian restaurants

Intended outcome: better gas safety within food sector.

An LA’s food team were reporting a number of ‘Matters of Evident Concern’9 at Indian restaurants that were illegally adapting gas equipment to char chapattis. This practise had also been noted during reactive visits to investigate other health and safety incidents5/complaints6.

The LA:

d) Working with local supply chain following national safety alert

Intended outcome – better management of risks associated with the installation of stone fireplaces.

There were several instances where heavy stone components forming part of a modern fireplace surround had failed causing damage and injury. These incidents happened because the fireplaces were not securely, mechanically fixed in place. In two separate accidents, this type of incident resulted in the death of two young children. Due to particular local circumstances, this issue was recognised as a local priority for the LA.


The LA:

e) Duty to manage asbestos

Intended outcome – the better management of asbestos within retail/wholesale premises.

A Primary Authority reviews their health and safety at work priorities for action with a multi-site retailer and uses this opportunity to discuss the duty to manage asbestos(2-if visits; 3-if other contacts).

They choose this topic for a number of reasons - raising awareness on the duty to manage asbestos is a HSE national priority for LAs; the business had been prosecuted after failing to manage asbestos risks at one site; there was national and local scrutiny on how multi-site retailers dealt with asbestos; and the company understood the effect this might have on their reputation.

During a series of meetings2 it was agreed that:

This approach had an additional benefit of improving inspector competency. LAs could use the experience gained to raise awareness of this issue when targeting visits e.g. when providing other advice and support2 or when visiting for other regulatory reasons9premises where asbestos was likely to be an issue; when carrying out proactive inspections1 against the high risk activities sectors on the List or where there was evidence that a business was not managing their risks effectively1.

f) Work at height in retail/wholesale sector

Intended outcome – better management of work at height risks associated with fragile roofs in retail/wholesale premises.

During an LA investigation5 in to a high profile incident involving serious injuries to a warehouse worker, who had fallen 3m through a fragile roof whilst cleaning gutters for his employer, the LA became aware that nationally falls through fragile roofs occurred frequently and often led to fatalities or serious injuries. Due to this local/national dimension the LA decided to raise awareness on the control measures required when working at height especially in relation to fragile roofs. They decided to use a range of interventions to raise awareness of this issue including:

g) Swimming pool safety

Intended Outcome – Improvements in swimming pool safety

Over a number of years Liaison groups in a particular region had a number of swimming pool issues. These included two fatalities- one due to insufficient life guard cover/training, the other due to an electrical incident to a worker; public health issues due to poor swimming pool water quality including a Cryptosporidium outbreak; an incident of gas release arising from poor dosing practice and numerous low level slips and trips incidents. A number of these incidents had generated local media interest to such an extent that the Strategic Regional Liaison Group within the region agreed that swimming pools would be a local priority in their region.

Dividing the work load between the Liaison Groups:

h) Work place violence in retail premises

Intended outcome – to reduce the incidence and effects of violence in takeaways.

Crime and anti-social behaviour statistics within an LA indicated that takeaways and takeaway deliveries were increasingly a focus for violence and/or robbery. This picture was confirmed in discussions with the police2 who offered to be a partner in any initiatives to reduce the incidence or effects of violence related to takeaways. Given that premises with vulnerable working conditions (risks are not effectively managed/ lack of suitable security measures) were suitable for proactive inspection (see the List) the LA considered this issue worthy of further investigation. However, the LA, in discussions with the police, thought they would secure longer term improvements if they partnered with the police and the takeaway businesses themselves to deliver an alternative intervention. The intervention involved working with the police to:

i) Electrical safety in retail food premises

Intended outcome: better electrical safety in food retail premises.

An LA’s food team were reporting a number of ‘Matters of Evident Concern’9 at food retail premises including damaged electrical sockets (including evidence of overheating), damaged plugs, cables, inappropriate joins, poorly positioned sockets, unprotected cables/poor positioning including trailing etc. Poor practise had also been noted during reactive visits to investigate other health and safety incidents5/complaints6. In addition there had been a number of local incidents connected with poor electrical safety in food premises including a major fire and an electric shock to an employee.

The LA:

  1. Proactive Inspection
  2. Other visits/face to face contact
  3. Other contact/interventions
  4. LPG visits
  5. Visits to investigate incidents
  6. Visits to investigate complaints
  7. Visits following requests from business
  8. Revisits
  9. Not recorded
Updated 2015-06-16