We are responsible for health and safety enforcement in low risk premises, including:

  • offices
  • shops
  • hotels
  • catering premises
  • warehouses

We are not responsible for health and safety at home, but for information on this, you can look at RoSPA.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are responsible for health and safety enforcement in high risk premises, including:

  • factories
  • building sites
  • hospitals
  • educational premises

You can visit the HSE website for information about who deals with what health and safety concerns.

Health and safety inspections

We target our health and safety interventions where there is the highest potential risk, based on guidance from the HSE

Our routine health and safety inspections focus on businesses that we have previously identified as having the highest risk rating.

We also undertake non-routine inspections, where there is a high risk activity or high potential for harm. For example, this can include:

  • projects managing asbestos
  • gas safety
  • vehicle movement
  • working at height

We will also carry out a visit after we have received a report about a workplace accident, or a complaint about working conditions.

In addition to health and safety, our Environmental Health Officers are qualified to give a range of advice, including food hygiene. If you operate a food business, we may also give you advice about health and safety when we carry out your food hygiene inspection.

We will usually make an appointment, as we will need to speak to a manager with responsibility for health and safety. However, we do have the authority to enter without notice if necessary.

When we visit for an inspection you have a legal obligation to let us enter the premises, and refusal is a criminal offence.

During the inspection, we will:

  • talk to you and your staff about health and safety policies and procedures
  • look at records, including training, risk assessments and periodic examinations
  • look at the accident book
  • observe normal operational procedures
  • fully inspect the premises and equipment 

After the inspection, the actions we decide to take will be based on the severity of the problems we find, and your history of compliance.

We will discuss our findings with you, and tell you the actions we have decided to take.

This can include:

  • giving verbal advice and direct you to sources of information about health and safety
  • sending you an informal notice, stating what you need to do to comply with the law
  • serving an improvement notice, giving you a certain period of time to rectify non-compliances
  • serving a prohibition notice if there is an imminent risk of serious injury, prohibiting:
    • a work activity
    • access to part of a premises
    • access to all of a premises
  •  gathering evidence for the purposes of a prosecution

Report a workplace accident or injury

You need to report certain accidents, injuries, work-related illnesses and dangerous occurrences.

You can look at the HSE to find out what you need to report, and how to make a report.

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