Health and safety regulation
- Category: Health and safety at work
- Last Updated: 31 January 2017
Health and safety at work legislation is designed to protect the employer, self-employed, employees, contractors, customers and visitors to the District from any dangers arising out of a work activity.
The Council is responsible for the enforcement of health and safety legislation in certain business premises. Examples include; offices, shops, retail and wholesale distribution outlets, hotels, restaurants, residential care homes and various places used for leisure activities such as holiday parks.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforces the legislation in industry (factories, farms, manufacturing premises and building sites).
The regulations relating to health, can be found on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.
We have a Health and Safety Enforcement Policy in place to help ensure consistency of enforcement action.
What happens during an inspection?
The inspection of premises is carried out on a routine basis, in accordance with their risk rating and/or topic inspection programme focussing on priority work activities or significant hazards, usually without prior notification.
Inspections will primarily concentrate on how businesses manage risks from those activities most likely to kill, injure and/or make people ill at work (priority topics). These include falls from height, workplace transport, slips and trips, musculoskeletal disorders and workplace stress.
During inspections officers will assess whether a business has adequately addressed hazards arising out of, or in connection with the work activities and whether measures to control the associated risks have been implemented. They will also look at the level of health and safety training of managers and staff to ensure that it is adequate.
Inspectors may offer you guidance or advice to help you comply with the law.
For more information regarding priority topic activities and hazards please use the link on the right.
What happens if my premises is below standards?
Where conditions or work practices fall short of what is regarded as satisfactory, we will attempt to resolve the situation informally, if this is not possible, or if the danger is of high-risk to personal injury, then formal action will be taken either in the form of a legal notice, prosecution, or prohibition notice.
Complaint and accident investigation
Complaints about working conditions and accidents at work are always investigated confidentially. These are usually resolved by providing advice to employers, but formal action will be taken if necessary.
"What to expect when a Health and Safety Inspector calls" is a booklet produced by the HSE.
Asbestos - Duty to Manage
The management of asbestos is presently a key priority in the reduction of work-related disease and this is another area likely to be addressed during inspections. It is estimated that 500,000 industrial, commercial and public buildings across the country still have asbestos in them. In many cases there is no effective management of the thousands of tonnes of asbestos still present in buildings and those working there, particularly plumbers, electricians and other maintenance workers are often completely unaware that they are at risk from disturbing asbestos. Unless steps are taken to deal with this problem, HSE estimates that nearly 5,000 building and maintenance workers will die as a direct consequence of exposure to asbestos in buildings over the next 50 years.
This duty to manage asbestos is designed to protect these workers. It requires those who have responsibilities for maintenance activities in non-domestic premises to asses whether these is any asbestos in their premises, and, depending on its condition, either remove it or manage it - making sure that maintenance or other activities carried out subsequently do not expose the workers to any avoidable risk. They must ensure that information on the location and condition of these materials is given to anyone likely to disturb them.
Please visit the HSE website for information on how to dispose of asbestos safely.
For further information or advice email Health and Environment or telephone 01653 600666.