Health and safety inspections

Every employer has a duty to ensure (so far as is reasonably practicable) the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees, under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and associated regulations.

The act also requires employers to ensure that people that are not in their employment are not exposed to risks to their health and safety connected with the work activities of the employer's work.

Our health and safety officers may carry out an inspection of your workplace for a variety of reasons.

For example, we may visit you to:

We can also visit you if you ask for advice or request help on health and safety matters.

During the visit our officers may need to see documentation and equipment, including:

  • health and safety policy - if there are five or more employees
  • risk assessments - if there are five or more employees
  • control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) assessments - if there are five or more employees
  • staff training records - including certificates where relevant
  • health and safety law poster or leaflet - if you have employees
  • insurance of certificate of employers' liability - if you have employees
  • asbestos survey/risk assessment and asbestos management plan (if you rent the premises, it could be with your landlord)
  • accident book and first aid kits - including any accident investigations you have completed
  • gas safety certificates for boilers, gas heaters, cookers and other gas appliances and systems
  • electrical safety reports for the fixed mains installations - such as sockets, lighting, fuse board
  • electrical maintenance records for portable appliances such as fridges, kettles, printers (also known as PAT certificates)
  • lifting equipment inspection reports - such as for passenger and goods lifts, fork-lift trucks, dumb waiters
  • pressure system inspection reports - such as for compressors, cappuccino machines
  • personal protective equipment - PPE for hazardous jobs, such as gloves, overalls, safety boots, safety goggles
  • list of appointed persons or first aiders
  • first aid kit

You can find out more information about workplace inspections on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website. The HSE website also contains a wide range of useful information on health and safety in the workplace including example risk assessments.


Certain work-related accidents need to be reported by law (RIDDOR). When the accident information is received, we will review the details against certain criteria to decide if further enquiries need to be made into the incident. This may simply be a letter asking for more information or an inspector may visit your business to investigate the accident further.


If we receive a complaint about your business we will make an unannounced visit to investigate the allegations made. If the complaint is not justified our records will be updated to show this. In the event the complaint is justified the inspector will decide if any further action is required and this will be discussed with you.


Businesses are inspected in line with guidance from the Health and Safety Executive. These businesses will include:

  • premises that are high risk
  • inspections that form part of a campaign
  • inspections in response to poor performance
  • reactive inspections triggered by a problem

When a business has been inspected, a score (or risk rating) will be given to the business in respect of each of the following criteria:

  • safety performance – work equipment, procedure or method of work
  • health performance – the potential of a substance, chemical, force (eg, noise), or method of work to cause harm or ill health
  • confidence in management – policies, management systems, arrangements, processes, plans, risk assessments, measurement and review of performance and adequate auditing of the health and safety system
  • welfare compliance – including ventilation, lighting levels, ambient and working temperatures, changing facilities, rest areas, and so on

The risk ratings will then determine how often the business will be inspected.

Advisory visits and requests for help

All businesses and their employees are encouraged to contact their inspectors for advice and guidance. This may prevent an accident or problem in the future. These visits will show on our records as requests for help and will not contribute to the risk rating of your business.

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Last updated on 21/11/2023