HSE Inspections

HSE issues warning over threatening behaviour

24th February 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned threatening behaviour will not be tolerated after an incident during an inspection of a Teesside waste and recycling site in August 2019.

In a statement on the 19 February, the HSE said that when attending the Teesside premises on 23 August 2019, an inspector became aware of an individual pointing at them across the yard, shouting obscenities.

The incident took place on 23 August 2019.

HSE claims its inspector was subjected to repeated verbal abuse and offensive language throughout their attempted inspection.

They felt physically threatened when Jacob Alexander Thompson, of Mulberry Wynd, Stockton-on-Tees, stepped towards them and raised his fist as he aggressively told them to leave.

Sentenced on 17 February at Teesside Magistrates’ Court following an investigation by Cleveland Police, Thompson, 38, was ordered to pay £100 compensation and costs of £85 after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986. He also received a conditional discharge of six months.

Victoria Wise, principal inspector of health and safety at HSE, said: “Thompson’s aggression, threats and abuse are wholly unacceptable. HSE will not tolerate any form of violence, aggression or abuse.

“Our inspectors are warranted to attend premises to carry out their job to ensure the safety and health of those working there.

“Any aggressive or violent words or actions taken against HSE staff in the course of their duties will be reported to the police.

“I would like to thank Cleveland Police for their help and support in dealing with this serious matter.”

HSE is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to 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.