The council has a legal duty to enforce the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and related legislation. As part of this duty the council should ensure that work premises are safe for employees and visitors to them and that accidents are prevented wherever possible.
Blaby District Council has a legal duty to enforce the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and related legislation. On behalf of the Council, inspectors from the Health and Safety Team inspect offices, shops, warehouses, places used for leisure activities and other non-industrial premises to ensure that they are safe for employers and visitors and accidents are prevented wherever possible.
The Health and Safety Team will:
Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the key act which affects all commercial concerns, whether self-employed or an employee. Under this Act a number of Regulations have been made, some of which include:
- The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981;
- The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989;
- The Health and Safety (Information for Employees) Regulations 1989;
- Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990;
- The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992;
- Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992;
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992;
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992;
- The Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013;
- The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996;
- The Health and Safety (Young Persons) Regulations 1997;
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998;
- The Working Time Regulations 1998;
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
On finding a breach of health and safety law, the inspector will decide what action to take. The action will depend on the nature of the breach and will be based on the principles set out in the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) Enforcement Policy Statement.
In most cases these are:
- Informal - for a minor breach of the law the inspector may offer guidance or advice. He/she may also talk to employees take photographs and samples and will tell the duty holder about any items which concern them and therefore require attention. Following the inspection they will write a report detailing contraventions and recommendations.
- Improvement Notice - where the breach of the law is more serious, the inspector may issue an improvement notice instructing the duty holder what needs to be done, why, and by when in order to comply with the law. The time period within which to take the remedial action will be at least 21 days, to allow the duty holder time to appeal to an Industrial Tribunal if they so wish. Further legal action may be taken if the notice is not complied with within the specified time period.
- Prohibition Notice - where an activity involves, or will involve, a risk of serious personal injury, the inspector may serve a prohibition notice prohibiting the activity immediately or after a specified time period, and not allowing it to be resumed until remedial action has been taken. The notice will explain why the action is necessary.
- Prosecution - in some cases it may also be necessary to initiate a prosecution. Decisions on whether to prosecute are informed by the principles in HSC's Enforcement Policy Statement. Health and safety law gives the courts considerable scope for punishing offenders and deterring others. For example, a failure to comply with an improvement or prohibition notice, or a court remedy order, carries a fine of up to £20 000, or six months' imprisonment, or both. Unlimited fines and in some cases imprisonment may be imposed by higher courts