Health and safety failures found at more than 80% of businesses on island during inspections

More than 80% of businesses checked during an inspection push on the Isle of Wight were found to have breached the law.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out a special two-day inspection programme on the island and found 84% of businesses in breach of health and safety regulations.

Issues found included badly maintained electrics, unguarded machinery, work at height taking place unsafely, lack of control of exposure to wood dust, welding fume or other substances hazardous to health and poor welfare facilities.

Eleven HSE inspectors visited the Isle of Wight over two days earlier this month and inspected 33 businesses. The unannounced inspections by Great Britain’s workplace regulator checked a wide range of industries including boatbuilding and repair, waste and recycling, engineering, and farms.

Companies checked ranged from small businesses to large industry-leading firms with hundreds of employees. Breaches of health and safety law were identified on 84% of sites visited, resulting in four Prohibition Notices, 37 Improvement Notices and numerous instances of written advice.

HSE Principal Inspector Nancy Harman, who led the project, said: “Although we did identify some good practice on the Isle of Wight, there were numerous areas where risks to health and safety were not being properly managed and where improvements were needed.

“As a result of our intervention, we hope to have educated and informed businesses about the measures that they need to have in place to ensure that everyone goes home from work safely and without risks to their health.

“This inspection programme forms part of our ongoing work on the Isle of White and across Hampshire and we will be following up on the premises we visited and others in the coming months.

“By concentrating our resources at the same time, it allowed us to be more efficient in making sure businesses are putting good control measures in place and that the health and safety of workers is at the top of the agenda for everyone.”

The last large-scale inspection visit like this to the Isle of Wight took place in 2019, before the Covid pandemic.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More information about the legislation referred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.