Enforcement action

HSE's emphasis is on prevention but, where appropriate, we will enforce the law where we find it is being deliberately flouted.

We take enforcement action to ensure dutyholders:

  • deal immediately with serious risks (so they prevent harm)
  • comply with the law
  • are held to account if they fail in their responsibilities

Our enforcement action is proportionate, targeted, consistent, transparent and accountable. It is in line with our Enforcement Policy Statement and Enforcement Management Model.

When making these decisions, we take into account economic growth and the impact our actions are likely to have on businesses.

Types of enforcement

Our range of enforcement options include:

  • providing information and advice face-to-face or in writing
  • serving notices on dutyholders
  • withdrawing approvals
  • varying licences, conditions or exemptions
  • issuing simple cautions
  • prosecution

We make clear to dutyholders which matters are subject to enforcement, and the measures they must take to achieve compliance (including timescales).

How to challenge/appeal

We also give dutyholders advice on their right to challenge/appeal. There are different routes for this, depending on the enforcement action. These are set out in What to expect when a health and safety inspector calls.

What happens after enforcement action?

After any enforcement action we:

  • follow up to check that any necessary changes have been made
  • publish data on notices served and prosecutions taken

Fee for intervention

If you've broken the law, you will have to pay for the time it takes us to help you put things right. This is called a 'fee for intervention' (FFI).

Further information

Our role as a regulator.

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Updated 2022-03-21