Many people can carry out inspections for any number of reasons. External inspections could be carried out by enforcement officers, insurers or by a specialist inspector but you should not rely on these external inspections to ensure your workplace is safe as it may not be and incur improvement notices, prohibition notices and even fines.
External consultants will provide impartial advice and assist in implementing systems and controlling measures to keep the company within the law.
Employers, supervisors and employees safety representatives, might carry out internal inspections for their area or department.
Inspections can be planned or carried out without warning to determine whether adequate standards are being maintained.
A positive attitude to health and safety in the workplace makes good business sense. The aim of health and safety law is to help prevent people being harmed by work activities. The main piece of legislation is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA). The Act places a legal duty on employers to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of those who work for them and other people who enter the workplace are protected. It also places a duty on people at work to take “reasonable care for their own health and safety and for the health and safety of other people who may be affected by their acts or omissions”. (HSWA) is supported by Regulations, Codes of Practice and Guidance relating to a range of work activities and specific hazards.
Currently health and safety enforcement in the United Kingdom is split between local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). As a guide, higher risk businesses such as manufacturing and construction are enforced by the HSE. Local authorities will generally enforce health and safety law in lower risk businesses.