Enforcing authorities

This page contains information for other enforcing authorities, such as the police, fire and rescue services and trading standards.

HSE's Explosives Inspectorate works in partnership with these other enforcing authorities to enforce legislation on explosives in Great Britain.

Separate legislation applies in Northern Ireland.

Who is the enforcing authority?

The table under applying for a licence explains who is the enforcing authority by location, activity, and type and quantity of explosives.

What is enforcement?

Enforcement ensures that dutyholders:

  • deal immediately with serious risks
  • comply with the law
  • are held to account if they fail in their responsibilities

Enforcing authorities may offer dutyholders information and advice, both face to face and in writing. They may warn a dutyholder that, in their opinion, they are failing to comply with the law.

Where appropriate, they may also serve improvement and prohibition notices, withdraw approvals, vary licence conditions or exemptions, issue formal cautions (England and Wales only), and they may prosecute (or report to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution in Scotland).

For further information relating to the types of enforcement and the procedures involved when enforcement action is taken is available in 'What to expect when a health and safety inspector calls'.

Information and guidance for enforcing authorities

Guidance for licensing authorities on the processes involved in refusal, revocation or variation of licences. It also contains information and guidance on the appeals process intended to assist licensing authorities, applicants and licensees.  

Advice and guidance to retailers and enforcing authorities on the storage of fireworks.

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Updated: 2023-03-22