H&S inspections and investigations

Environmental health officers carry out health and safety inspections at work premises to advise upon any action that may be needed to comply with the law. The level of risk to both employees and the public determines the frequency of these inspections. Premises with a poor past history and those that are high risk will be visited more regularly.

If officers are notified of an accident then they may visit the premises to investigate what happened. This will depend on the severity of the injury, the potential of the accident recurring, the extent of possible breaches of legislation, the type of accident and the past history of the business.

Although officers can arrive unannounced, they may well give advanced notice of a visit, in order to make the visit more effective. On a normal inspection visit an inspector would expect to look at the workplace, work activities, the management of health and safety and to check compliance with health and safety law. Officers will also expect to discuss any identified problems with health and safety representatives and following the inspection the inspector may also talk to employees about any work related matter.

Some items that will be checked include:

  • Safety Policy – employers should ensure that if one is required, it is available, up to date and there is evidence of regular reviews. The HSE produce a useful booklet ‘Guidance on preparing a health and safety policy document for small firms’
  • Documentation – Employers liability certificate, a signed general statement of policy on safety, an accident book or other accepted method for recording accidents and incidents, fire certificate (if the premises require one), other risk assessment forms e.g. COSHH, Manual Handling or Display Screen Equipment - detailed information on Employers’ Liability
  • Health and Safety Law What You Should Know Poster – a copy must be displayed or employees must be given documentation containing the same information. The HSE has produced a standard poster that can be obtained from HSE Books or any good bookseller. The HSE has also produced a ‘Health & Safety Law – What You Should Know’ leaflet
  • Thermometer – one must be readily available for employees to check the workplace temperature
  • First Aid – suitable facilities for first aid must be made.  This will include a first aid box, first aiders and first aid room. More detailed information is available on the HSE leaflet ‘First Aid at Work – Your Questions Answered’
  • Risk assessments - employers must ensure that a general risk assessment record and where applicable task or work activity assessments are available
  • Records – employers must make available records and inspection sheets in respect of: lifts, lifting equipment, pressure vessels and compressors, electrical equipment, training for operation of equipment (such as forklift trucks)


For more help and information visit www.hse.gov.uk.

Enforcement Policy and Procedures

Our enforcement policy sets out, in detail, what businesses and the self-employed operating in the Forest of Dean are to expect from officers of the council. It reflects the expectations of the service users and takes the needs of the locality into consideration. We are committed to ensuring that persons undertaking work activities do so safely in accordance with health and safety law. Most of our dealings with those on whom the law places duties (employers, the self- employed, employees and others) are informal - officers offer information, advice and support, both face to face and in writing. They may also use formal enforcement mechanisms, including improvement notices where a contravention needs to be remedied; prohibition notices where there is a risk of serious personal injury; or ultimately prosecution. This policy applies to all dealings, formal or informal, between officers and duty holders - all contribute to securing compliance. Download the policy below:

Forest of Dean District Council Enforcement Policy

Annex 2 Enforcement Tools and Remedies for Environmental Health

Annex 3 Timescale for complaints