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Health and Safety Inspections

This information is intended for employers and explains what you can expect from an inspector during a visit. It also contains information for employees and their representatives on what they can expect from an inspection.

The Inspection

The inspection of businesses for Health & Safety has changed although it is still risk based only the highest risk premises will be inspected.  The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 gives authorised officers the right to enter any workplace at a reasonable time without giving notice, although we may give notice where appropriate.

During an inspection, Officers will need to be satisfied that any hazards to people, health, safety and welfare, which arise out of or in connection with work have been identified and the associated risks adequately controlled. They will look at the level of health and safety training of managers and employees to ensure that it is suitable. Checks will also be made on the adequacy of structural and environmental conditions and that plant and equipment are safe.

Where work practices or conditions fall short of what is regarded as satisfactory every attempt will be made to resolve the situation by informal means, but if this is not possible, or if the danger posed gives rise to a risk of serious personal injury, then officers will resort to formal action. This could involve either the service of a legal notice, prosecution, or in situations where serious personal injury could arise, a prohibition notice requiring immediate action. The type of action will depend on the nature of the breach and the principle laid down in the Council's enforcement policy.


When any formal notice is served the employer will be told in writing about the right of appeal to an Industrial Tribunal including:

  • how to appeal and an application form
  • 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

Information to employees or their representatives

By law the employer must have arrangements in place for consulting and informing employees or their safety representatives about health and safety. The inspector should meet or speak to employees during a normal visit to gauge whether this is being effective.

The officer will provide copies of his report to employee representatives giving details of any issues requiring attention and any formal action that is being taken.


If you have a complaint about the action taken by the enforcement officer then you can contact the Environmental Health Manager (Commercial) to discuss the matter. If you remain dissatisfied there is a formal complaints procedure. The manager should provide details of this.

Other useful links

Health and Safety Executive

Updated: 11 Nov 2014
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