LAC 67/2 (rev4.1) - Targeting local authority interventions
Annex G – Recording Local Authority Activity and Enforcement Data (the LAE1)
This annex is aimed at helping LAs, especially managers; ensure data is being reported accurately and correctly. The information from the LAE1 is shared with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA).
Before planning their activity and enforcement and attempting to complete the LAE1 LAs should ensure they are familiar with the contents of this LAC and the following guidance:
Regulatory interventions - principles and recording practices
- A proactive inspection may be considered as a visit to premises to examine and assess the business’ management of occupational health and safety risk. The business is unaware that the visit will take place10, has not been offered the opportunity to freely decline the visit and if entry is denied or the visit declined the inspector is prepared to gain entry using their HSWA Section 20 “powers of entry”. LAs sometimes refer to such visits under the guise of “local projects”, “survey visits”, “programmed inspections”, or “intelligence gathering for a specific purpose” but they are fundamentally proactive inspections.
- “No inspection without a reason” – reserve proactive inspections for higher risk activities in the sectors specified by HSE (See List of higher risk activities in specific sectors suitable for proactive inspection), or where there is intelligence showing that risks are not being effectively managed.
- Risk ratings alone should not be used to determine interventions or intervention frequency. Where premises have been rated Category A because the business has not managed their risks effectively LAs should have evidence to justify this risk rating before undertaking a proactive inspection. Confidence in management considered in isolation is not sufficient to justify an A rating. Similarly LAs should not give a whole class of premises an A rating e.g. making all Care Homes A rated without assessing a premises individual performance.
- Be prepared to explain to the business why a proactive inspection is appropriate. A business may refer to the Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel where they consider that they operate in a lower risk sector and have been unreasonably subject to a proactive health and safety inspection by an LA. • Proactive inspection should not be used simply as a means of gathering intelligence [e.g. to maintain currency of a database].
- Only record proactive inspections where the primary reason the premises was targeted was for occupational health and safety. If the primary purpose was for another reason, (e.g. entertainment licensing purposes, food safety inspection etc.) do not record as a proactive health and safety inspection on the LAE1.
- If premises were targeted for more than one LA regulatory purposes (e.g. food premises identified as a priority for both health and safety and food safety) then combine the inspection visit where possible and record as a proactive inspection on the LAE1.
- Record proactive inspections at premises against the relevant rating prior to the visit than the rating after (e.g. if premises is A-rated prior to an inspection and re-rated to a B after – record as Risk Category A Proactive Inspection). Where the rating is unknown prior to a visit – record the rating found at the time of the proactive inspection.
- Make the best use of resources by using the range of other available and permitted risk-based regulatory interventions (See Annex A - Examples of Intervention Types and Case Studies).
- Such interventions are an efficient and effective mechanism to reach a wider population than can be achieved by individual inspection contacts e.g. awareness and education via business seminars, training course etc. reach a much wider audience with the benefit of allowing business to share good practice.
- LA advisory visits, (made at the convenience of the business to provide helpful advice and support especially to new business start-ups and without recourse to section 20 powers of entry).
- Record other non-inspection interventions as either “visit/other face-to-face contact” (e.g. talk to trainee hairdressers at college or advisory visit to a new hairdressing business), or “other contact/interventions” (e.g. sending targeted campaign materials to hairdressing salons).
- Do not record non-targeted general newsletters, service magazines or record the number of website hits as “other contact/interventions”.
- LAs undertake reactive visits for various reasons e.g. in response to incidents or complaints to investigate cases of actual harm or concern or requests to visit by dutyholders.
- The targeting of reactive visits should be proportionate and risk-based e.g. use incident selection criteria/complaint handling techniques/professional judgement.
- Matters of Evident Concern (MECs – those that create a risk of serious injury or ill-health and which are observed (i.e. self-evident or brought to the attention of LA staff)) during an inspection, non-inspection interventions or other regulatory visits should normally be addressed at that time using enforcement powers if necessary.
- If MECs cannot be dealt with during the original visit then consider whether a follow up visit is required.
- MECs provide useful background intelligence on the health and safety performance by a duty holder or for local projects using education/awareness raising or targeted risk based inspections e.g. use of targeted information campaigns to raise awareness and follow this up with targeted risk based inspections to assess standards, effect of campaign and determine next steps.
- Record the reactive visit as directed by the LAE1 – LPG, investigation, complaint or service request.
- Do not record MECs dealt with during interventions or visits for other regulatory purposes. Premises targeted for other regulatory purposes should be reported to the relevant regulatory agencies (e.g. Food Standards Agency in relation to food hygiene inspections) and should not be double counted.
- If a further visit is necessary to address a MEC, record this either as a reactive visit to investigate health and safety complaints on the LAE1 or as a proactive inspection if the MEC indicates evidence that the business is not effectively managing its risks.