Complaints - Stage 1: Receive a concern

For: FOD, HID, ND and REACH (Chemicals Regulation Directorate)

Step 1.1

For: Receiving Officer

Is the concern for HSE and for your Division?

Ensure the concern is dealt with by the right enforcing authority by:

  • checking, if necessary, the relevant enforcing authority guidance
    Note: this link takes you to the investigation procedure for this guidance
  • passing the concern to the correct part of HSE, or
  • passing it to another relevant enforcing authority, as necessary, and informing the complainant accordingly

Performance standard:

Decide whether HSE is the enforcing authority and take the appropriate action:

  • within one working day of receipt, or
  • immediately, where there is an obvious risk of serious personal injury

Step 1.2

For: Receiving Officer

Is the concern a "complaint"?

Decide whether the concern

For additional information see:

in OSD:

Offshore Intervention Guide - definition of a complaint

in REACH:

Performance standard:

Decide whether the concern is a complaint:

  • within one working day of receipt, or
  • immediately, where there is an obvious risk of serious personal injury

Step 1.3

For: Receiving Officer

Is the concern accepted as a complaint?

Where a concern does meet HSE's definition of a complaint:

  • obtain full details of the complaint and, where possible, the complainant
  • inform the complainant that they can be provided with either a brief explanation of the outcome of any HSE decision or the reasons why HSE has not taken any action
  • If feedback is requested the Receiving officer should obtain their full contact details.
  • If the caller is abusive point out that their behaviour is unacceptable and that you will terminate the call if it does not change. Inform you line manager and decide with them if an IH1 should be completed. For advice on terminating calls see Violence to staff - Verbal abuse over the telephone

Performance standard:

In HID and ND:

Inform the complainant of the decision and what we are going to do about it:

  • immediately, wherever possible, eg most telephone complaints
  • in all cases, within 10 working days. eg if complaint received in writing

In HID and ND:

go to Stage 5: decide on complaint investigation

For more information for OSD see Offshore Intervention Guide - concern accepted as a complaint

In REACH (Chemical Regulation Directorate)

go to Stage 6: Follow up complaint REACH complaints procedure

In FOD:

  • If the complaint has come via the Pay and Worker Right Hotline and concerns health and safety issues use PAWR code
  • use the appropriate prompt form/checklist or equivalent where relevant
  • Check on COIN for details of dutyholder and previous advice on similar matters.
  • in the case of pesticides complaints alleging ill health, advise the complainant to see a GP or report to a hospital, and send a copy of the FOD CONSENT1 medical consent form to the complainant, and forward to ¬†the Occupational Health Inspectors when returned
  • in the case of a complaint alleging a potential defective product complete a Product Safety checklist

    or equivalent where relevant. The Product Safety Team will not deal with a complaint about equipment on site. Dangerous equipment still in use should be dealt with by the site inspector in the normal way.

For guidance on this please see:

Product safety

  • In the case of domestic gas complaints, if complainant has immediate safety concerns, or thinks they are suffering the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, advise them to stop using the appliance and contact the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

To obtain more details about gas complaints use standard gas letters

  • Refer complaints about pesticides labelling to Pesticides Safety or Chemical labelling to REACH Competent Authority in the Chemical Regulation Directorate.
  • refer all other complaints to the complaints handling officer (CO)

Performance standard

  • Refer complaints that meet the definition of a complaint to B5 within one working day.
  • Refer call to B5 immediately where there is an obvious risk of serious personal injury

Step 1.4

For: Receiving Officer

Is the concern not accepted as a complaint?

Where a concern does not meet HSE's definition of a complaint:

  • inform the complainant (where feedback was requested) why the concern will not be dealt with as a complaint
  • if possible, refer the complainant to any other authorities or organisations that may be able to help
  • where the concern is anonymous destroy the details

Performance standard:

Contact the complainant telling them the reasons why the concern does not meet the definition of a complaint immediately wherever possible and within 3 working days of the decision

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Updated 2022-08-16