4. How HSE enforces

If you contact us about a concern with GB REACH we:

  • will acknowledge that we have received the information
  • may ask you for more information
  • will transfer any case to the relevant enforcing authority if it not for HSE - it will speed up the process if you can try to identify and contact the correct enforcing authority directly
  • will triage the incident / concern where HSE is the enforcing authority and establish a proposed course of action
  • will assign a priority to the incident / concern - cases are actioned in priority order
  • will inform you of our decisions - this may take some time depending on available resources and the depth of the investigation required
  • cannot provide details or updates relating to ongoing investigations unless there have been significant developments

HSE may not be able to investigate everything that is reported to us - we have to prioritise according to the severity of hazard and risk of harm to persons, animals and the environment. We will focus the majority of our resource on:

  • the incidents that give rise to the greatest risk
  • the issues or duty holders that cause us the greatest concern

As part of an inspection or investigation we may:

  • contact the duty holder for information - this may include requiring the duty holder to provide documentation or samples of products / active substances
  • visit the duty holder - we may or may not tell a duty holder of our intention to visit
  • purchase the duty holder's products online - we may do this covertly
  • use our enforcement powers, such as those to:
  • enter premises
  • seize evidence - including taking measurements, photographs, recordings and samples
  • serve notices – for example improvement notices and prohibition notices
  • prosecute offenders

More information on the principles of HSE's investigations can be found on our central enforcement pages.

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Updated 2022-05-24