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LAC 67/2 (rev5) - Setting priorities and targeting interventions

Local authority circular

  • Subject: Setting Priorities and Targeting Interventions
  • Open government status: Fully open
  • Target audience: Local authority health and safety regulators (practitioners and managers)


This Local Authority Circular (LAC 67/2 (rev 5) is guidance under Section 18 Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) and replaces LAC 67/2 (rev 4.1) and all earlier versions.

The LAC provides LAs with guidance and tools for priority planning and targeting their interventions to enable them to meet the requirements of the National Local Authority Enforcement Code (the Code). 


In May 2013 HSE published the National Local Authority Enforcement Code (the Code). The Code was developed in response to the recommendation in “Reclaiming health & safety for all: an independent review of health & safety legislation” by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt for HSE to be given a stronger role in directing Local Authority (LA) health and safety inspection and enforcement activity and as an outcome of the Red Tape Challenge on health and safety.

The Code is designed to ensure that LA health and safety regulators take a more consistent and proportionate approach to their regulatory interventions. It sets out the Government expectations of a risk based approach to targeting. Whilst the primary responsibility for managing health and safety risks lies with the business who creates the risk, LA health and safety regulators have an important role in ensuring the effective and proportionate management of risks, supporting business, protecting their communities and contributing to the wider public health agenda.


The Code provides LAs with a principles based framework that focuses regulatory resources on the basis of risk. It requires LAs to consider a range of regulatory techniques (interventions) to influence the management of risk by a business.

LAs are responsible for regulating over 1.7 million workplaces and it is neither proportionate nor effective to deliver a regulatory function based on the regular inspection of individual workplaces – particularly since many of those workplaces will already be managing their risks effectively.

Inspection can be very effective in the right circumstances – where individual face-to-face contact with a dutyholder is necessary to influence their management of risk. However, it is the most resource intensive form of intervention and should be limited to the highest risk premises; conversely it may not be considered the best use of public resource to inspect comparatively lower risk premises.

Alongside the Code, HSE assists LA targeting by means of the production of a list of national priorities for LAs (outlined in Annex A) and the publication of a list of specific activities in defined sectors that are suitable for targeting for proactive inspection (see section 2). LAs should also maintain a deterrent by ensuring they have the ability to take suitable action against those businesses who fail to meet their health and safety obligations.

Implementing and complying with the Code will ensure that LA regulatory resource is used consistently and to best effect. Using risk based targeting should free up resources and facilitate the provision of advisory visits and support to deliver the growth agenda particularly with new business start-ups.

This LAC provides LAs with guidance and tools for setting their health and safety priorities and targeting their interventions to enable them to meet the requirements of the Code.


1. Setting Priorities

National Priorities

Local priorities

Primary Authority inspection plans

2. Targeting interventions

Focussing on priorities and outcomes

Risk ratings

3. Reporting performance

Application to Petroleum and Explosives Licensing Regimes

The Code applies to all LA enforcement under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act. This includes the requirement to follow a risk-based approach to regulation for petroleum certification and petroleum and explosives licensing and the enforcement of relevant health and safety legislation at petrol filling, non-workplaces in relation to petroleum storage and licenced explosives sites e.g. Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) and the explosives/petroleum regulations.

However, the Code does not require intervention and enforcement activity related to petroleum certification or explosives licensing to be: undertaken in accordance with the guidance in this LAC, or reported via the LAE1.
In practice, enforcing authorities for petroleum and explosives sites will need to ensure, by risk-based proactive inspection visits, that site operators are complying with the goal setting duties set out in the relevant health and safety legislation or for domestic and non-workplaces petrol is stored in accordance with the petroleum storage regulations and any applicable licence/certificate conditions.

The application to petroleum and explosives in this way is because the requirements for recording via the LAE1, the national priorities, the risk rating scheme and the List of activities/sectors for proactive inspection by LAs were developed to address conventional health and safety issues and not the potential for high hazard/low frequency major incidents with the potential for substantial off-site effects that petroleum and explosives sites can pose.

For further information on addressing the risks posed, regulators warranted to enforce the relevant legislation at certificated petroleum sites or licenced explosive sites should consult:

Further References

Updated 2016-11-19