12 Mar 2024

Are you prepared for a HSE visit?

HSE inspection visit

Preparing for a visit from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is something many companies don’t worry about as they think they will never visit their company as it’s too small, they’ve only ever had minor incidents or they would just be seriously unlucky to be chosen.  However, a Health & Safety Inspector may visit any workplace without giving notice – are you prepared for this?

The main function of the HSE is to ensure you are compliant with the law, focussing on employee welfare and being aware of potential risks that could cause harm. The HSE will check to see if you are taking appropriate action to control these risks.

Preparing for the HSE?

You need to prove to the Inspector that you are meeting the current legal requirements for your particular business and how?

You may want to have easy access to:

  1. Your health and safety policy.
  2. Risk Assessments.
  3. Records of inspection of work carried out on equipment (lifting equipment, pressurised systems, machinery etc).
  4. Documented safe working methods.
  5. Records of health & safety training carried out.
  6. your employers’ liability insurance certificate.
  7. Accident book and investigation reports of previous incidents.

Check out the video below from the HSE which explains what you can expect when a Health & Safety Inspector calls at your workplace and why their role is so important in keeping people safe at work.

When an Inspector Calls – YouTube

HSE inspectors can:

  1. Visit at any reasonable time when the business is trading.
  2. Carry out examinations and investigations, take measurements, samples, and photos/videos.
  3. Take possession of an article and arrange for it to be dismantled and tested.
  4. Seize and make safe any article that could cause injury.
  5. Request information and take statements from employees.
  6. Inspect and copy documents.

They will be checking the workplace, work activities, your management of H&S, the provision of adequate welfare facilities for eating, resting and sanitation.

Their purpose is to help you provide a safe working environment for all and meet legal duties. If you do not have this in place, it could become very costly as this can affect the continuation of trading, loss of revenue, damage to your reputation/brand and lack of trust from employees.

If the Inspector finds material breaches of health & safety law, they can charge you ‘fees for intervention’ for their time in investigating and dealing with any non-conformances at £166.00 per hour. This is separate to any fines that a court may impose.

When it comes to the HSE preparation is key, if you need assistance with health and safety policies, risk assessments etc, please contact us on 01527 833834 or email info@sentinelsafety.co.uk and we will be happy to discuss your individual requirements.

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