The law requires employers and the self-employed to conduct their business in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons affected are not exposed to risks to their health or safety. This includes providing essential welfare facilities for employees.
If you consider that your employer (or someone else’s) work activity is putting your safety at risk or damaging your health, then you should raise your concerns with that employer or person. If no improvement is made and your safety or health continues to be at risk, then you can report your complaint to the relevant enforcing authority and ask them to look into it.
Firstly, HSE can only take action on a complaint if:
Therfore HSE cannot deal with complaints about issues or employers where we have no jurisdiction and where we receive such complaints, we will take no further action. The following section should help you identify whether HSE is the correct enforcing authority and then tell you what to do next.
HSE is responsible for enforcing health and safety at workplaces including:
You should contact your local authority environmental health department if your complaint is about the following type of premises:
Other enforcing authorities that cover specific areas:
|Poor food hygiene||Environmental Health Department (Local Authority)|
|Pollution, including nuisance noise||Environmental Health (Local Authority)|
|Problems with goods and services you have bought||Trading Standards (Local Authority)|
|Road, highways and pavements||Highways Department (Local Authority)|
|Unstable/dangerous buildings||Building Control (Local Authority)|
|Road traffic issues||Police|
|Roadworthiness of vehicles||Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA)|
|Railway safety||Office of Rail Regulation (ORR)|
|Waste disposal, contaminated ground, some air pollution issues||Environment Agency|
|Treatment of patients in the NHS in England||Patient Advisory Liaison Services|
|Care of patients and users of health and social care services in England||Care Quality Commission|
|Care of patients in health services in Scotland||Healthcare Improvement Scotland|
|Care of patients in health services in Wales||Healthcare Inspectorate Wales|
|Care of users of social care services in Scotland||Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland|
|Care of users of social care services in Wales||Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales|
|Employment issues, including bullying and harassment at work||Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)|
|Repairs of council owned property||Ombudsman|
If you are an employee and you think the law is being broken, or minimum standards are ignored within your workplace, you can:
If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved, you can raise it with the relevant enforcing authority.
If you are a member of the public and you think a person’s health and safety is being put at risk, you can directly contact their employer to raise your concern with them.
Remember, HSE is not responsible for enforcing health and safety in all workplaces. So double check the last section to make sure that it is HSE who is responsible for enforcing health and safety in the workplace that you are concerned about. If you do wish to report your complaint to HSE please complete the form below.
Please note you will be asked to provide:
First, we will check that the complaint relates to a work activity where HSE is responsible for enforcing the health and safety legislation. Then we will seek to identify from the information you provided:
A complaints officer will then assess your complaint and place it into one of the following categories:
However, if your complaint relates to an industry classed by HSE as a major hazard industry - such as offshore, nuclear or a major chemical site - then it will be assessed by an inspector and assigned a priority appropriate to the circumstances.
We may ask the employer to investigate your complaint or we may look into it ourselves. However, we cannot successfully follow up your 'red' or 'amber' complaint if, from the information you provided, we are not able to identify or establish who is responsible for the work that you have complained about from the information you provided. In such situations, this will be recorded as a "matter of concern" and no action will automatically be taken. However, if the "matter of concern" has been assessed as "red" it will be reviewed by an inspector.
The other situations where HSE will not investigate your complaint are:
HSE cannot help you get compensation or resolve problems of civil law.
If you want feedback, we will contact you and let you know what we have done. Or, if we have assessed your complaint as low risk 'green' we will explain our decision.