How to Prepare for a HSE Inspection

HSE inspections are carried out by the Health and Safety Executive and must be done to prevent death, injury or ill health in the workplace. The HSE is responsible for safety in the workplace across the UK and has been established for 40 years.

HSE inspections are important as their purpose is to reduce or eliminate any risks to employees, customers and the general public within a workplace. HSE inspect a number of things including hygiene, cleanliness and risk assessments among others. The purpose is to identify dangerous risks and encourage business to rectify apparent issues.

Generally, all businesses are subject to HSE inspections; if you employ staff or have a workplace which is accessible to employees or the public then you have health and safety responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the business owner to assess health and safety risks and comply with legislation. HSE inspections can take place randomly however in generally you will be notified.

During a HSE Inspection

Inspectors are able to enter any workplace without giving notice and when they inspect the workplace they would expect to look at the workplace itself, the work activities, the employers management of health and safety and to check that the employer is in compliance with health and safety law. If there are any health and safety concerns, they will hand out notices if they need to be dealt with immediately and they will then be entitled to carry out another inspection within three months.

The key role of a HSE inspector is to investigate, instruct, enforce and they can do different types of inspections which include; safety tours, safety sampling, safety surveys and incident inspections which are carried out after an accident.

Scoring System Explained

Higher risk businesses tend to be scored in a different way and more frequently than lower risk businesses such as in an office. Higher risk businesses would tend to be those within factories or construction, for example.

How to Prepare

  1. Select a Delegate

Choose a reliable person to be responsible for overseeing health and safety duties; it should ideally be someone with relevant knowledge of health and safety. If you’re a high-risk business, you may need to hire someone specifically trained to oversee your health and safety.

  1. Plan a Strategy

It is essential that you have a health and safety strategy in place and let others know how you plan to manage it; this shows how invested you are in your employee’s safety. The policy should also clearly state who is responsible for what.

  1. Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is essential to prevent potential accidents. During your risk assessment you can find potential hazards and rectify them before they cause an accident. The law doesn’t require that you remove all risks just that you put control measures in place to control the risk.

  1. Evaluations

Once you have carried out the risk assessment it is important you act on your findings and evaluate them accordingly. In addition to this you should inform colleagues of changes to health and safety plans in the workplace, provide relevant training and information, provide the correct facilities, make arrangements for first aid and accidents, display a health and safety law poster and ensure you have the correct insurance.


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Sally White



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