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Health and safety inspections

Inspections are carried out to make sure businesses and places of work keep to legislation and guidelines.

The following businesses will be inspected by a local officer:

  • retail
  • some warehouses
  • most offices
  • hotels
  • catering
  • sports
  • leisure
  • consumer services
  • places of worship.

All other businesses will be inspected by an officer from the Health and Safety Executive.

Reasons for inspection

  • to identify any hazards and assess any risks
  • to assess management controls of health and safety and their effectiveness
  • to make sure compliance with health and safety legislation
  • to offer advice and guidance.

When will the inspection take place?

The inspecting officer will normally make an appointment before their visit, although this may not always be possible. At the visit they will need to speak to the person responsible for health and safety at the premises.

Inspecting officers have a legal right of entry to the premises at all reasonable times. Refusal of entry is a criminal offence, punishable with a heavy fine or conviction.

How often will inspections take place?

High risk premises will be inspected once a year whilst low risk premises will be inspected less often. In some cases low risk premises may receive a health and safety self-assessment form to fill in.

Inspections may also take place in response to an accident or complaint. 

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