Health and safety inspections

caution sign

What happens during a health and safety visit from a council officer depends on why the visit is being made and the type of workplace being visited.

General inspections

These are scheduled (programmed) routine visits and are influenced by the extent of risk to both employees and the public. This means that premises which pose the most serious risk, or where the risks have been poorly controlled in the past, will be visited more regularly.

Investigative visits

All accident notifications are assessed and may result in a visit to investigate what happened. This depends on several factors, such as the how severe the injury was, what the likelihood is 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. We will probably want to speak to managers, supervisors, employees, health and safety representatives and similar people. We will look at the working conditions in your company including:

  • how health and safety information is communicated to employees (for instance, on a health and safety poster)
  • adequacy of first aid provisions
  • correct use and storage of chemicals
  • safety of equipment and machinery
  • general cleanliness.

We will also look at records such as:

  • your health and safety policy statement (if applicable)
  • risk assessments (if applicable)
  • plant maintenance and inspection records
  • training records
  • accident records.

We are under a legal obligation to tell employees about issues concerning their health, safety and welfare at their workplace.

At the end of the visit we will advise on what further action, if any, is going to be taken. Any correspondence we send to you will be clear and will provide useful and relevant information on what is required.