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Topic: Health and safety management

powers of inspectors
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Powers of inspectors

Safety briefing - powers of inspectors

This briefing provides information on the powers of health and safety inspectors and how to deal with them during an inspection.

What’s covered?

The aim of this Safety Briefing - Powers of Inspectors is to ensure that all staff know how to treat inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive and local authority environmental health departments.

Why is this topic important?

Health and safety inspectors hold significant powers and if staff do not co-operate with them it could lead to charges of “obstruction”. There is also the risk of aggravating an inspector so you are treated less favourably than you might otherwise have been.

The powers of inspectors

The briefing provides a list of inspectors’ powers which include to enter premises, to seize articles, take photographs, inspect, interview, require that areas are left undisturbed, etc. As a result of their investigation the inspector may decide to issue a formal enforcement notice or even prosecute. They can also charge for their time in some circumstances.

How to deal with inspectors

Staff are encouraged to obtain management assistance as soon as possible if an inspector arrives. They are also taught to co-operate, speak truthfully and offer additional information on positive measures to take for health and safety on the site.

Key points

The key points reiterate the fact that inspectors have significant powers and that staff must co-operate with them.

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