Who Enforces Health and Safety Law?
Health and safety law is enforced by
inspectors from your local authority or by inspectors from the
Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Inspectors have the right to enter any
workplace without giving notice, though notice may be given where
the inspector thinks it is appropriate. On a normal
inspection visit an inspector would expect to look at the
workplace, the work activities, your management of health and
safety, and to check that you are complying with health and safety
law. The inspector may offer guidance or advice to help
you. He/she may also talk to employees and their
representatives, take photographs and samples, serve improvement
notices and take action if there is a risk to health and safety
that needs to be dealt with immediately.
How is Health and Safety Law Enforced?
On finding a breach of health and safety law,
the inspector will decide what action to take. The action will
depend on the nature of the breach, and will be based on the
principles set out in the Health and Safety Commission’s (HSC)
Enforcement Policy Statement. The inspector should provide
employees or their representatives with information about any
action taken, or that is necessary for the purpose of keeping them
informed about matters affecting their health, safety and
Inspectors may take enforcement action in several ways to deal with
a breach of the law.
A dutyholder will be told in writing about the
right of appeal to an Industrial Tribunal when an improvement or
prohibition notice is served. The appeal mechanism is also
explained on the reverse of the notice. The dutyholder will be
- how to appeal, and given a form with which to appeal;
- where and within what period an appeal may be brought; and
- that the remedial action required by an improvement notice is
suspended while an appeal is pending.
Last Updated - 06/10/2011