Companies that think they have cracked the millennium bug problem could still face court action if they fail to ensure stringent health and safety standards are met.
The HSE has authorised inspectors to demand risk assessments on any health and safety critical system that may be prone to the millennium bug. If an assessment is not supplied, an improvement notice may be served. Companies must then comply by a specified date or face court action.
Up to 1,750 inspections will be carried out over the coming months. HSE spokesman Peter Morgan said the apparent lateness of millennium bug inspections is due to the fact that ‘most companies’ year 2000 programmes are only nearing completion now’.
HSEdeputy director general David Eves said the preparedness of small firms for the millennium bug is largely unknown. Welcoming the HSE initiative, The Federation of Small Businesses said that most small firms have preparations under way.