Health and Safety - What We Do
Health and Safety laws which apply to your business are enforced by an inspector either from the Local Authority Environmental Health Service or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Their job is to see how well you are dealing with your workplace hazards, especially the more serious ones which could lead to injuries or ill-health. They may wish to investigate an accident or a complaint. Inspectors do visit workplaces without notice but you are entitled to see their identification before letting them in.
Don't forget they are there to give help and advice, particularly to smaller businesses who may not have a lot of knowledge about health and safety. When they do find problems they will aim to deal with you in a reasonable and fair way. If you are not satisfied with the way you have been treated, take the matter up with the Inspector's Manager. Your complaint or concerns will be looked into, and you will be told what is to be done to put things right if a fault is found.
Inspectors have the right of entry to your premises, the right to talk to employees and safety representatives and to take photographs and samples. They are entitled to your co-operation and answers to questions.
If there is a problem they have the right to issue a notice requiring improvements to be made, or (where a risk of serious personal injury exists) one which prohibits a process or the use of dangerous equipment. If you receive an Improvement or Prohibition notice you have the right to appeal to an employment tribunal.
Inspectors do have the power to prosecute a business or, under certain circumstances, an individual for breaking health and safety laws, but before any action is taken they will take account of your attitude and safety record.