How we inspect

Inspecting key industry sectors, workplaces and work activities is important as it helps ensure health and safety risks are being managed effectively.

We target and inspect dutyholders:

  • in sectors which have the most serious risks
  • where we have information and intelligence that health and safety is a significant concern, such as:
    • previous performance
    • concerns raised by workers, the public or others
    • incident investigations
    • reports of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences

How we carry out inspections

When we inspect we:

  • speak to relevant people, for example managers, supervisors, workers and employee representatives
  • observe a sample of workplace activities, conditions and practices
  • assess relevant documents, if necessary
  • check whether risk controls are effective
  • identify any breaches of the law
  • consider appropriate enforcement

Targeting our inspections

It is impossible for us to inspect every one of the estimated 5.2 million businesses in Great Britain. We therefore target those sectors and activities:

  • with the most serious risks
  • where the risks are least well-controlled

Sector plans

We have well-developed strategies for specific industry sectors. These define the key health and safety issues for that sector, taking into account:

  • the size of the industry and its demographics
  • death, injury and ill-health rates
  • potential risks

Inspectors will therefore concentrate on these issues in deciding how well risks are being managed in a particular sector.

Major hazard industries

We take a risk-based approach when preparing intervention plans for sites subject to a permissioning regime, using information and intelligence from a number of sources, including:

  • safety cases and reports
  • previous performance
  • intrinsic hazard

Further information

Our role as a regulator.

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Updated 2022-05-21