Powers of inspectors
Health and safety inspectors have the right to enter any workplace without giving notice, though notice may be given if the inspector thinks it is appropriate.
On an inspection, the inspector will do one or more of the following:
look around the workplace
look at the work activities being carried out
look how you manage health and safety
talk to one or more of your employees or their representatives
take photographs and/or copies of documents
take a constable if there is likely to be any serious obstruction in the execution of their duty
take with them any other person duly authorised by the inspectors enforcing authority, ie, a qualified electrician
take samples of any articles or substances found at the premises
This list is not exhaustive and full details of the powers of inspectors can be found in Section 20(2) and 25 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
After carrying out the inspection, the inspector will decide what action to take.
This could be:
compliance – advise the business they are complying with health and safety law
informal action – provide verbal or written advice
improvement notice – issued where the breach in law is more serious
prohibition notice – issued where an activity involves, or will involve, a risk of serious personal injury
Appeals to statutory notices
When an improvement notice or prohibition notice is served, the appeal process will be shown on the notice and in a booklet enclosed with the notice, which contains instructions and a form explaining how to make an appeal to an employment tribunal.
Further information is available: What to expect when an inspector calls.
A complaint is the expression of dissatisfaction by any individual or organisation where:
- (a) the council has failed to carry out a service
- (b) the council has not carried out the service to the satisfaction of the customer
- (c) there has been undue delay, by the council, in responding to a request for action over which it has some control
- (d) the treatment by or the attitude of a council employee has not been helpful
We shall endeavour to investigate and resolve the complaint within five working days. If this is not possible the complainant will be sent an acknowledgement letter, with a full reply within 21 working days. If the complaint cannot be investigated and resolved within 21 working days, the investigating officer shall keep the complainant informed as to how the complaint is progressing.