HSE reacts to sentencing of man for threatening inspector

A senior inspector at Britain’s workplace regulator has stressed that the organisation will not tolerate violence, aggression or abuse of its staff after a man was sentenced for a public order offence.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector was conducting an inspection of a waste and recycling site belonging to Jacob Alexander Thompson in August 2019.

Attending the Teesside premises on 23 August 2019, the inspector became aware of an individual pointing at him across the yard. The individual, Thompson, then crossed the yard towards the inspector, shouting obscenities.

When arriving on site, the inspector was subjected to repeated verbal abuse and offensive language and was physically threatened when Thompson stepped towards him and raised his fist as he aggressively told him to leave.

Jacob Alexander Thompson, 38, was sentenced on Monday 17 February 2020, at Teesside Magistrates’ Court following an investigation by Cleveland Police.

Principal inspector Victoria Wise 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.”

Thompson of Mulberry Wynd, Stockton-on-Tees, pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation and costs of £85. He also received a conditional discharge of six months.

About HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We 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. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk