by Brakes
Apr 13th, 2021
6 mins

During the pandemic, for those businesses with primary authority partnerships, there is a new initiative for COVID Spot Checks of which some of our members are joining such as Brakes.

Through this partnership, Brakes decided to have a series of voluntary checks completed to put their COVID secure measures to the test.  The initial agreement was to have 2 sites visited by the enforcing authorities with full compliance being established in line with government guidelines.

Following this, another 2 sites were contacted by telephone and the COVID spot check completed by call operatives, although stage 2 concerns were raised by the call operative to the Primary Authority partner, Primary Authority then advised that these concerns were found to be down to interpretation between call centre operative and site operative, when in fact the sites were found to be fully compliant.

Paul Duncalf, Head of Safety at Brakes commented ‘we have put much time and effort into making our sites COVID safe, we have an open and honest policy and have embraced the spot check initiative with open arms, we believe it’s good practice to get an external view of any control measures implemented in the workplace and would recommend this process to other companies’

How it works

Current government spot check system

As you know the government are carrying out standard spot checks and inspections on all types of businesses in our sector to ensure they are COVID-secure.

They are making calls to give expert advice on how to manage the risks of COVID in order to protect workers, customers and visitors and to establish compliance. They are also working closely with local authorities, assisting them in the sectors they regulate to check the measures they’ve put in place are in line with government guidance.

The process starts with a stage one call, depending on responses and non-compliance this can lead to a stage 2 referral, at stage 2 another call is then made by those with regulatory training, should the business be confirmed as non-compliant the business is then referred to local authority for follow up and potential visit by an inspector at stage 3.

BFFF Primary Authority spot check system

Should you have a registered Primary Authority Health & Safety partnership with BFFF and Wakefield MDC you will have access to a slightly different process. Instead of the stage 2/3 referral being to any number of local authority officers, your business could be tracked to the BFFF/Wakefield MDC partnership. Wakefield would support and work with you to resolve the issues identified to potentially avoid the stage 3 visit and negate the need for enforcement action at a minimal cost. There are 3 key advantages:

  • COVID-19 Spot check process channelled through primary authority at stage 2/3, instead of a multitude of local authorities nationally therefore giving consistency. In the case of Wakefield, they have intimate knowledge and experience in our industry.
  • Bespoke reports provided by HSE and Primary authority to help maintain compliance.
  • The premises would then be registered as inspection carried out and in most cases closed out at stage 1.

As a member of BFFF you are entitled to join the primary authority coordinated partnerships for Health & Safety which is free. This is free and aligns your business to the governing bodies.

To register your interest in the BFFF Primary Authority scheme or find out more about the spot check initiative please contact:






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