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Health and Safety

The Council has a legal duty to enforce the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (and related legislation) in a range of premises to ensure that they are safe for those who work in or visit them. The Health & Safety Executive website provides details of the enforcing Local Authority for a type of business.

We achieve this by: 

  • Inspecting places of work in high risk sectors.  (The HSE website provides a list of activities and sectors for proactive inspection by Local Authorities)
  • Inspecting where there is intelligence showing that risk are not being effectively managed.
  • Educating and informing employers, employees and other relevant parties.
  • Investigating accidents and dangerous occurrences in the workplace.
  • Investigating issues around health, safety and welfare in the workplace.
  • Providing advice to new and existing businesses on health and safety issues.
  • Working in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), other Agencies, Local Authorities and businesses to promote health and safety.
  • Visits/inspections/investigations may include an examination of documents, risk assessments, safe systems, employee instructions, equipment safety inspection report, accident reports.

Appropriate action will be taken in line with Sefton Council’s Enforcement Policy where businesses are not complying with the law, which may include verbal advice and letters, Service of Improvement Notices, Prohibition Notices and or prosecution.

If you are a business, employer or self employed and require advice about Health and Safety and how to comply with the law then please visit HSE website The website provides advice on different work sectors and up to date guidance, example risk assessments, and policies which you can download free of charge.

The Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013 require that certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences which happen at work need to be reported to the enforcing authority.  This is done via the HSE website

The RIDDOR Regulations places the duty to report incidents mentioned above on employers, the self employed and people in control of work premises.

The list of reportable incidents which include incidents to employees and others (e.g. members of the public) are listed on the HSE website.

Only ‘responsible persons’ including employers, the self employed and people in control of work premises should submit reports under RIDDOR.

Responsible persons should complete the appropriate on-line report and this can be done by following the link  The form will then be submitted directly to the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) database.  You will receive a copy for your records.

The report which you have made will be allocated to the enforcing authority for your premises and may be selected for investigation by Local Authority Health and Safety Inspectors using Incident Selection criteria.

Fatal and specified injuries

Telephone the Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923 for fatal and specified injuries only please check HSE website for up to date contact numbers.

Reporting out of hours 

The Local Authority enforcement officers and HSE are not an emergency service.  To report very serious incidents or dangerous occurrences out of hours please contact Sefton Security (Sefton Arc) E-mail: Tel: 0800 622 6107

For very serious incidents/or dangerous occurrences relating to HSE enforced premises, please

Note: There is no longer a paper form for RIDDOR reporting, since the on-line system is the preferred reporting mechanism.  Should it be essential for you to submit a report by post it should be sent to RIDDOR Reports, Health and Safety Executive, Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle, Merseyside, L20 7HS

The law requires employers and the self-employed to conduct their business in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons affected are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. This includes providing essential welfare facilities for employees.

If you consider that your employer (or someone else’s) work activity (i.e. you are a member of the public) is putting your safety at risk or damaging your health then you should raise your concerns with your employer or that person. If no improvement is made and your safety or health continues to be at risk then you can report your concern to the relevant enforcing authority and ask them to look into it. To check the relevant enforcing authority go to the HSE website 

The Environmental Health department covers

The Local Authority can only investigate if it relates to

  • A work activity
  • Is the enforcing authority
  • The issue raised is sufficiently specific to enable identification of the issue and the duty holder and/or location.

Whether you are an employee or member of the public and the matter is not satisfactorily resolved you can make a formal complaint online or by telephoning 0345 140 0845.

The following information will be required.

  • Name, address, valid email address and contact telephone number.
  • The name and address of the premises/business where the Health & Safety issue exists.
  • The type of H&S issue, how long it has been going on for and what you have done to try and deal with it.

We aim to respond to health and safety complaints within five days of receipt of your request.

When we receive your request an Investigating Officer will be assigned to your case and will contact you to ensure you understand the investigation procedure and advise you of the next steps in the process.

Depending on the nature and type of complaint the Investigating Officer may

  • Contact the business/premises by telephone.
  • Visit the business/premises to establish the nature of the complaint
  • Write to the business/premises to establish the nature of the complaint

Follow up action may be taken against the business/premises in question to resolve the complaint and this is in line with Sefton Council’s Enforcement Policy.

This ranges from verbal advice, letter, service of Improvement or Prohibition Notices where appropriate and/or prosecution.

Your Investigating Officer will keep you updated throughout the investigation process.

The Investigating Officer will inform you of the outcome of their investigation. If no further action is possible the Investigating Officer will contact you and advise you accordingly.

In some cases officers may request written statements from the person who has made the complaint.

The Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel will look into complaints regarding advice given by HSE or Local Authority inspectors about health and safety which you think is incorrect or goes beyond what is required to control the risk adequately.

The panel consists of independent members who will have the competence and experience to assess advice that has been given on regulatory matters.

The Challenge Panel will only consider issues that have been dealt with by Sefton Council's Corporate Complaints Procedure <insert link> in the first instance.

What to expect?

  • Your issue will be put before the panel members who will review it thoroughly and inform you of its findings. 
  • The panel will only consider cases from 30 June 2011 onwards and the outcome will be made available on the HSE website.
  • The panel’s role is advisory. The regulators will respect the independence of the panel and its advice and where appropriate take it on-board.

Last Updated on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

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