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Concerns - FAQ

Find out about the process and procedure involved in raising a concern from our most frequently asked questions.

What should my employer be doing?

You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching our website, start by looking under the relevant topic or industry section.

Can HSE help me with my concern?

Yes but only if:

  • HSE is the correct enforcing authority for the work activity you're concerned about. You can check if HSE is the correct enforcing authority for your concern.
  • HSE decides that the concern presents a sufficiently significant risk to take up the issue (see FAQ: What happens after I raise a concern)

How do I raise a concern about my workplace?

Information on raising your concern is available.

What happens after I raise a concern?

Information on what happens after you raise a concern is available.

Will someone from HSE visit the company?

Your concern will be assessed by the workplace Concerns Team. We may then ask the employer to investigate your concern or we may look into it ourselves. Generally, we will seek to get your concern resolved by contacting the employer because this is the quickest route to an effective solution.  However, HSE may follow-up the concern through a site visit either specifically to investigate your concern or as part of a wider planned inspection.

How long will it take to follow up my concern?

We aim to start following-up concerns within 24 hours if we assess your concern as a serious risk and within 5 days if we assess it as a significant risk. However, completing our enquiries will take longer. We aim to complete our enquiries within 21 days but about one third will take longer than this. If we link the follow up of your concern to a wider inspection visit, this is likely to take longer. We will let you know what we have done or what we are planning to do within 21 days.

Can I raise a concern on someone else's behalf?

If you have seen or experienced the workplace concern yourself then you can raise it with us. If you are raising it on someone else’s behalf we will ask for the person affected to notify unless they are unable to (eg a young person or a child).

Will HSE disclose my name if I raise a concern?

We ask for your name and correct contact details to allow us to follow-up your concern but we will not disclose your name to your employer if you don't want us to. This is one of the questions you will be asked on the on-line form.

However, depending on the nature and circumstances of your concern it may be possible for your employer to guess that you notified us, particularly if you have already raised the matter with them.

We recognise that it can be difficult for people to raise concerns and that you may feel vulnerable to dismissal or fear of other repercussions. If you are an employee you may also wish to look at the FAQ: What protection do Whistleblowers have?

Are there any circumstances HSE will disclose information I provide against my wishes?

Occasionally, with good reason, we are asked to keep photographs (or other documents) confidential. We will normally do so but VERY EXCEPTIONALLY when we consider it is necessary to prevent the risk of serious harm, an inspector may need to release the information.

Can I claim compensation?

We cannot help you get compensation or resolve problems of civil law.

Can I appeal if I am dissatisfied with HSE’s decision?

If you are dissatisfied with HSE’s decision in relation to your concerns then you can appeal.

I am unable to complete the online form

If you are unable to complete the on-line form, then you can phone 0300 003 1647 during office hours - 8.30 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday, Thursday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, and a call handler will complete the form for you.

What protection do whistleblowers have?

If you are a worker raising a concern about health and safety at the place where you work, then you need to be aware of the protection that employment law gives you as a “whistleblower”, especially in relation to unfair dismissal and other potential detriments. You can find out more at www.gov.uk/whistleblowing which also explains the importance of the following the correct process.

2016-06-30