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Fracking: Safety

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 222532, tabled on 28 January 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment criteria the Health and Safety Executive plans to apply in deciding whether its inspections of hydraulic fracturing sites will be unannounced.

Answered on

4 February 2015

Decisions on whether an inspection is announced or unannounced are made on a case by case basis by the HSE inspector. For example, it may be beneficial to inform the duty holder of the inspection prior to arrival to ensure that the relevant people, documents and materials are present on site to inform the inspection. Conversely there may be occasions where it may be more appropriate for the visit to be unannounced to observe the “normal” conditions of the site.

Information gathered by HSE during site inspections, meetings with the well operators and through the assessment of data contained in well notifications enables HSE to assure itself that the operator is managing risks appropriately in relation to the well operations.