Inspectors and the law
Health and safety laws applying to your business are enforced by HSE inspectors or by officers from your local authority.
An inspector's role is to:
- investigate (when accidents have happened or a complaint is made) whether people are at risk, to find out if something has gone wrong
- require you to take action to control risks properly if you are not already complying with the law
- take appropriate enforcement action in relation to any non-compliance, ranging from advice on stopping dangerous work activities to potentially taking prosecutions where people are put at serious risk
- provide advice and guidance to help you comply with the law and avoid injuries and ill health at work
Inspectors have the right of entry to your premises as well as the right to talk to employees and safety representatives, and exercise powers to help them fulfil their role.
HSE operates a Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme. If you are breaking health and safety laws, HSE may recover its costs from you by charging a fee for the time and effort it spends on helping you to put the matter right, such as investigating and taking enforcement action.
If an HSE inspector visits your premises and you want to confirm their identity, they all carry identification and you can ask to see this.
Inspectors and local authority officers prioritise the highest risks and those businesses which fail to manage health and safety properly.