Headlines: January 28th, 1999

Employers are being warned to identify and assess the risks to their staff from failures which might result from the Millennium Bug.At the same time those councils across Britain which are lagging behind in that task of ensuring systems won’t crash on December 31st have been told they might face three monthly checks to bring them into line.

Announcing plans for an inspection tour of employers’ premises, David Eves, Deputy Director General of the Health & Safety Executive said: “This is a wake-up! call for employers. You must be able to demonstrate readiness to identify and deal with the potential consequences of the Year 2000 problem, or inspectors will demonstrate their readiness to take legal action.”

Employers should already have carried out a general health and safety risk assessment in their workplace. The Year 2000 risk assessment guide sets out the steps that employers need to take to assess risks caused by the Year 2000 problem. Copies can be ordered on freephone 08007 31 12 99.

Meanwhile the Local Government Association is threatening to require some local councils to fulfil strict targets over the next year on what steps they are taking to beat the millennium bug.

It is sending out a series of tests that senior council officials will have to respond to, along with assessment questionnaires.