Along with the Health and Safety Executive, the Council is responsible for making sure that the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and its associated regulations are known and followed by local employers and their employees. To do this we perform a number of duties:
- conducting health and safety inspections; on a risk based approach
- providing advice and guidance;
- responding to service requests;
- accepting and logging statutory reports such as accident reports and lift notifications undertaking accident investigations;
- running campaigns to raise public awareness of important issues.
Generally speaking, the Council is responsible for enforcing health and safety law in the following sectors:
- retail - including shops, hairdressers, builders merchants;
- wholesale and distribution centres - warehousing and storage
- leisure - including cinema, theatres, art galleries, museums, clubs, gyms, and swimming pools;
- hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation, sheltered accommodation, care homes;
- supermarkets, food shops restaurants, pubs, churches.
The Council recognises that it can support the growth of local enterprises by providing advice on all health and safety issues relevant to each particular business. The information supplied will help your business save time and money in securing a healthy and safe working environment. The Council encourages the active participation of both employers and employees in the important task of reducing accidents and occupational ill-health.
The Environmental Health team has many customers, including the people who live and work within Broxbourne, visitors, tourists, and businesses. Delivering high levels of customer service is therefore an important part of our job. As a result we are always committed to improving customer service and we have high standards of service delivery.
The Council aims to do everything it can to ensure that enquiries are dealt with quickly and efficiently. People may wish to contact the Environmental Health section to report issues concerning the work place or to seek advice.
Examples would include: -
- Occupational health and safety matters; welfare issues;
- Concerns regarding specific risks such as falls from height, slips and trips, musculoskeletal disorders, work place transport and stress;
- Concerns regarding the management and control of asbestos.
An easy guide to health and safety for small to medium sized businesses can be found on the HSE website. The Environmental Health team is also able to provide advice on how employers should comply with the law.
A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures.
Further information on completing a risk assessment is available from the HSE website
If you are concerned about conditions at your place of work, see above with respect to which business the council enforces, please contact the Council's Environmental Health section and an officer will investigate. Your details will not necessarily need to be revealed. You can also report it on-line
You may contact the Health and Safety Executive. They can be contacted on 01582 444200 or via their website if your business is enforced by the HSE.
If you have concerns about the advice you are given you can contact the IRCP (The Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel)
No scheduled inspections are carried out: All inspections are risk based either on National Priorities or Local intellegence with respect to particular issues of concern or notification of bad practice.
All accident notifications are assessed and may result in a visit to investigate what happened. This depends on several factors, such as 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 record of the business.
Inspections are usually unannounced but may be by appointment. Officers will usually want to speak to managers, supervisors, employees, health and safety representatives and other interested persons. An inspection will look at the working conditions in your company including:
- how health and safety information is communicated to employees
- how the company manages health and safety
- risk assessments, practices, procedures, training
- adequacy of first aid provisions
- correct use and storage of chemicals
- safety of equipment and machinery
- general cleanliness and adequate facilities.
The Council will also examine various records such as:
- your health and safety policy statement (if applicable);
- risk assessments (if applicable);
- plant maintenance and inspection records;
- training records;
The Council is also under a legal obligation to inform employees about issues concerning their health, safety and welfare at their workplace.
At the end of the visit officers will advise on what further action, if any, is going to be taken. Any correspondence sent following the visit will be clear and concise, and will provide useful and relevant information on what is required.
The Health and Safety Executive inspect manufacturing and high-risk premises including construction.
The Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel will look into complaints regarding advice given by HSE or LA inspectors about health and safety which you think is incorrect or goes beyond what is required to control the risk adequately.
The panel will consist of independent members who will have the competence and experience to assess advice that has been given on regulatory matters.
Before you raise an issue with the panel, you should have first tried to resolve the matter with the relevant HSE or LA inspector and their manager.
The link to contact the panel is http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/contactchallengepanel.htm.
What if I am still not satisfied
If you are still not satisfied with the findings of the Independent Regulatory Panel, you can follow the existing complaints procedures including writing to the Cheif Executive of the HSE or the relevant Local Authority Chief Executive.
You can also write to your MP and, if necessary ask them to contact the Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to investigate cases relating to HSE.