The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to investigate how the millennium time bomb will affect systems used for industrial safety. It is particularly looking into how the date change will affect safety equipment used in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Ron Bell, head of the HSE?s control systems unit, said: ?We are particularly concerned about small and medium sized firms which do not have inhouse IT expertise to deal with potential problems. These firms may be unaware that their computer-controlled safety systems could be affected by the Year 2000 problem.?
However, the findings will not be published until December when firms should already have compliancy projects underway. The HSE dismissed allegations that its actions are too late.
A spokesperson said: ?We didn?t want to start scaremongering at the beginning of the year, but we don?t think this is cutting it a bit fine. Until the report is published firms should go back to their equipment supplier and ask them if their systems can cope. By law, manufacturers must tell their customers if they know if there is anything in their products which could cause a risk to health and safety.?
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