HSfB Blog

The Powers of Health and Safety Executive Inspectors

Inspectors may exercise the powers set out in Section 20 of The HSWA ect.1974

  1. To enter premises, at almost any time, where it is believed that a dangerous state exists. A police officer may be taken along to help gain entry if required
  2. To carry out any necessary investigations and examinations - taking photographs, drawings and measurements of premises or items within them, taking samples of articles/substances and of the atmosphere, etc
  3. To direct that premises (in whole or in part) or items within the premises shall be left undisturbed for as long as required to make specialist examination
  4. To dismantle and/or test any item or substance which they decide is harmful to health
  5. To take statements from persons involved with an incident or accident. Interviewees must answer any questions and sign a statement of their answers, although these are not admissible as evidence in any subsequent proceedings against that person
  6. To inspect any documents, books or records considered relevant to the investigation
  7. To seize and render harmless any articles/substances found to be very dangerous in respect of causing personal injury

Inspectors may exercise the powers set out in Section 21 of The HSWA ect. 1974

If an inspector is of the opinion that a person is contravening one or more of the relevant statutory provisions or has contravened one or more of those provisions in circumstances that make it likely that the contravention will continue or be repeated, an "Improvement Notice" may be served requiring that person to remedy the contravention in a given time scale.

Inspectors may exercise the powers set out in Section 22 of The HSWA ect. 1974

If an inspector is of the opinion that a person carrying out activities will involve a risk of serious personal injury or personal injury is imminent, the inspector may serve a "Prohibition Notice" which will have immediate effect.