Working Safely After ‘Freedom Day’

Today, 19th July, England is moving to Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap, which includes the removal of most coronavirus restrictions. Clearly cold chain businesses must still be cautious in the face of increasing coronavirus cases and numbers of staff being told to isolate. It is highly recommended that businesses continue to operate the safe ways of working which we have been successfully implementing since last year.

Official HSE advice is that, despite the easing of legal requirements, you must still control the risks and review and update your risk assessment.

 This recently published webpage outlines the following:

  • controls to use after some restrictions are removed
  • other measures to help reduce workplace transmission
  • different approaches and timescales for removal of restrictions in Scotland and Wales

There is UK government guidance on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance from Step 4 covering a range of different types of work. You can also stay up to date with the latest information on any changes related to working safely during the pandemic, following the easing of coronavirus restrictions. You can find a full range of COVID-related information and advice on coronavirus pages. We will also keep you up to date with any official developments

The HSE is consulting on changes to the PPER 1992. Today (19th July) sees the launch of a consultation on the proposals. The consultation can be accessed via HSE Consultation Hub and closes on the 15th August.


The aim of the consultation is to understand the impact on stakeholders and businesses of extending the scope of the employers’ duties under the PPER to workers and not only employees.

What is proposed?

Under the proposals, which are required following a court ruling, Employers will have a duty to provide ‘limb (b) workers’ with the same health and safety protections in respect of PPE as they do currently for employees. Options on how to achieve the extension of the provisions to workers in the legislation will not be presented during the consultation as the key legislative changes are being made to align with the court decision.

What is a limb worker?

“Limb (b) workers” are workers who do not work under an employment contract but work under any other contract whereby they undertake to personally perform work or services for the other party to the contract. This could potentially apply to persons working at your site.Generally, limb (b) workers:

  • carry out casual or irregular work for one or a number of organisation(s),
  • receive holiday pay, but not other employment rights such as the minimum period of statutory notice, after one month of continuous service
  • only carry out work if they choose to
  • have a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward (the contract doesn’t have to be written) and they only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work, for example, swapping shifts with someone on a pre-approved list (subcontract)
  • are not in business for themselves (they do not advertise services directly to customers who can then also book their services directly)

If you have any queries relating to these proposals, please get in touch so we can coordinate a response from the industry.



HSE has released its annual workplace fatality figures for 2020/21.

The provisional data released shows that a total of 142 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2020/21, including 10 in transport and storage operations. Falls from height, moving vehicles and objects remain the highest risk sources.

 In statistical terms the number of fatalities has remained broadly level in recent years – the average annual number of workers killed at work over the five years 2016/17-2020/21 is 136. The figures released relate to workplace incidents. They do not include deaths arising from occupational exposure to disease, including COVID-19.

The Cold Chain Federation’s Keeping People Safe in a Cold Store provides a comprehensive guide to measures you can take to keep your operatives safe.

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