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To provide a common, transparent procedure for HSE operational group staff to carry out investigations consistently, and enable HSE to efficiently fulfil its duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.


The procedure covers the handling of all notified incidents by HSE, whether reportable or not, from receipt to completion, including investigation where appropriate; it also applies to the investigation (as opposed to the follow up) of complaints.


HSE’s policy is to conduct investigations in accordance with the Enforcement Policy Statement.

For further guidance on this, please see paras 30-34 of:

The selection of incidents for investigation will follow publicised selection criteria. When deciding which incidents to investigate and the level of resource to be used, account will be taken of the:

Exceptionally, HSE may decide not to investigate where:


Investigation is a reactive process which includes all those activities carried out in response to an incident or a complaint to:

An investigation may range from an enquiry by a single inspector about a minor incident or complaint to a large enquiry involving a team of inspectors.


Line Managers should:

Inspectors should:


Line Managers should

Inspectors should:

Receiving officers using the Incident Contact Centre (ICC) should:

Procedure Overview

An overview of the procedure is provided in the attached flowchart


Line managers should ensure, via normal management activity, that those involved in operating this procedure carry out their responsibilities in line with the standards and timescales described. They should carry out:

Updated 2011-06-27