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How do we go about visits?

Officers may call unannounced or by appointment as part of a planned inspection programme. In most cases they will need to talk to managers, supervisors, employees, and health and safety representatives. In addition to inspecting the premises paperwork such as health and safety policies, risk assessments, plant maintenance and inspection records and accident records may also be checked.

At the end of the visit the inspector will advise on what action will be required of the employer and this will be confirmed in writing. The employer may be asked to confirm what action he will or has agreed to take.

Officers will also advise employees about health, safety and welfare matters relevant to their work by talking to them or their safety representatives during the visit.

At present Environmental Health are concentrating on certain areas of work to reduce the number of accidents. These areas are:

  • Slips,trips and falls in food and drinks premises
  • Workplace Transport
  • Manual handling in the food and drinks premises
  • Manual handling in residential care homes
  • falls from Height
  • Stress

What happens if something unsafe or against the law is found?

Our Enforcement Policy Statement will determine the action taken. Officers will use their judgment to ensure that employers in similar circumstances are treated consistently and that the action is proportional to the risks.

Although the Environmental Health Division try to make employers improve by persuasion, formal enforcement powers may be considered. Formal enforcement could result in a written warning on the steps needed to put things right or the issue of an Improvement Notice or Prohibition Notice.

What information will be provided to employees and their representatives?

During a normal inspection visit an inspector will expect to check that those in charge, e.g. employers, have arrangements in place for consulting and informing employees or their representatives.

The inspector will provide employees or their representatives with certain information where necessary for the purpose of keeping them informed about matters affecting their health, safety and welfare.

What to expect when a health & safety inspector calls?