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The health and safety people visit my business – Why?

question mark carved into brick

HSE and local authorities share responsibility for regulating health, safety and welfare for those at work and for those affected by work activity, including the public.

We want health and safety to be seen as a cornerstone of a civilised society and so achieve a record of workplace health and safety that leads the world (we already have one of the best safety records). We are working for this in partnerships with businesses, with workers and their trades unions. We provide advice, guidance and information – both nationally and locally.

We also help achieve our aims by visiting individual businesses. How do HSE and local authorities decide which ones to visit? We do this on the basis of risk. We concentrate our work where the risks are likely to be highest and where it will have the greatest impact, in particular where:

HSE and local authority staff also carry out a limited number of visits to:

For multi-site enterprises, we aim to focus on the whole business, rather than individual premises, and on how you achieve consistent standards - to avoid duplication and repetition.

Whilst local authorities target their effort on nationally agreed priorities and on responding to accidents and complaints, they may also focus on issues that are particular priorities for local communities.

Whatever the reason for the visit, we will be checking the standards of health, safety and welfare in your business and giving you advice on how to prevent people being made ill or injured at work.

We do not believe that all risks in the workplace can be eliminated. Instead, we will want to see that you are taking sensible actions to reduce your health and safety risks. Where necessary, for example where conditions are poor or there is blatant disregard for the law, our staff can use their powers to require improvements, including prosecution where appropriate.

We hope you find this explanation of why we visit businesses, how we prioritise and what we do when we are in your business helpful. If you want to give us some feedback on whether you found this useful and clear please send your comments to business.involvement.team@hse.gov.uk

If you want to find out more information about what we do and how we do it, you should find the following links helpful.

Our strategies and plans

Investigations and Enforcement

Constituent parts of HSE and their people

If you want to know more about some of the constituent parts of HSE use the following links:-

Further information

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Updated 2014-04-07