The Environmental Health Division carry out the function of enforcement of the Health and Safety at Work Act, etc 1974 and associated legislation for South Ayrshire Council. Premises, which are subject to inspection by local authorities, include offices, retailing outlets, warehouses, hotels, catering establishments, sports and leisure facilities, consumer services and places of worship. The allocation of premises to the Environmental Health Division or the Health and Safety Executive depends on the work activity involved. For further information please check our A-Z Guide to Allocations.
Which laws are dealt with?
The Health and Safety at Work Act and Regulations made under this Act which apply to work situations cover such things as workplace facilities, risk assessments, manual handling, hazardous substances, gas safety, electrical safety, lifting equipment, pressure systems, work equipment, noise, first aid arrangements, violence to staff, use of computers and asbestos.
The law gives authorised local authority officers a wide range of powers including:
- entry to premises at any reasonable time (or at any time if they think that a situation is, or maybe serious);
- carry out investigations, take photographs and samples;
- seize and make safe anything believed to be a cause of danger;
- take statements from people they think can help an investigation;
- inspect and copy documents;
- issue improvement and prohibition notices and recommend prosecution of people and companies
However, the initial approach by the Environmental Health Division is to inform and give advice on what needs to be done.
What does the law say?
The law says that:
- employers have to look after the health and safety of their employees;
- employees and self-employed have to look after their own safety;
- they all have to take care of the health and safety of others, for example, members of the public.
It is the Environmental Health Division's job to see that this is done and to do this:
- workplaces are inspected to make sure that they are safe;
- advice is given on what safe standards are;
- improvements may be required by the service of notices;
- in serious cases prosecution will be considered;
- accidents and work related ill health are investigated;
- complaints about working conditions that could affect health and safety are investigated.
I need advice on what I need to do to comply with the law
If you are an employer or manager of a business and you need advice or information on what the law says get in contact with the Environmental Health Division for free advice.
An alternative source of advice for small businesses can be found at Healthy Working Lives www.healthyworkinglives.com
What are the current Health and Safety Campaigns?
Shattered Lives - This campaign highlights the serious effects accidents have. Learn more about the causes and prevention of slips, trips and falls from height.
Are there any requirements regarding cooling towers or evaporative condensers?
Cooling towers and evaporative condensers require to be notified to the local authority. A register of cooling towers and evaporative condensers is held by Environmental Health for our area.