The purpose of the Appeal Tribunal
If you are unhappy about an improvement notice or prohibition notice issued by authorised inspectors under the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law, 1989, you may appeal to the tribunal.
Careful thought and consideration will always be given to the issue of notices, but if you disagree with the inspector's action, you are legally entitled to contest it.
Improvement notices require changes to be made to meet health, safety and welfare requirements.
Prohibition notices go even further calling for immediate action because, in the inspector's opinion, there is a risk of serious personal injury.
If you disagree with the notice served upon you, you may take your case to an Appeal Tribunal - an impartial legal body which will decide if the serving of the notice was justified.
The tribunal can uphold, cancel or modify a notice.
Making an appeal
Appeals must be made within 21 days of the notice and only in special circumstances will that time be extended.
An appeal, in writing, must be made to the Registrar of Appeals and Tribunals, Health and Safety Appeal Tribunal, The Tribunal Service, 1st Floor, International House, 41 The Parade, St. Helier, JE2 3QQ, giving:
- your name and address
- the date of the notice and the premises concerned
- the name of the inspector
- the requirements of the notice
- the reason and ground of your appeal
Notice of appeal form
All sittings will be open to the general public and all findings of the tribunal will be made public. Only if the tribunal believes it would be prejudicial to have a public hearing, will it be in private.
When the hearing will take place
Your appeal will be registered and a hearing will be organised as soon as possible.
You will be given 14 days notice of the time, date and place of the tribunal. If all parties agree, it may be held at shorter notice.
What happens before the hearing
Once an appeal has been registered the two types of notices are treated in different ways.
An improvement notice is automatically suspended pending an appeal hearing.
You can appeal to the Registrar of Appeals and Tribunals for a prohibition notice to be suspended by the tribunal until the full hearing, if they feel it is appropriate. This appeal should be in writing to the Registrar of Appeals and Tribunals, stating your reasons.
This request is essential if you want to claim compensation for financial losses resulting from a Prohibition Notice, if the Tribunal decision is in your favour.
Attending the tribunal and legal representation
Both sides in an appeal can be represented by lawyers.
An appellant can also seek help presenting his / her case, for example from a Trade Union or Employers' Association.
Appellants can address the tribunal, call any witnesses they wish, give evidence on their own behalf and can cross examine witnesses for the other side. The other party has the same rights.
Through the tribunal, before or during a hearing, one party can demand from the other, documents and relevant written facts.
Written representations must be sent seven days before the hearing, to the tribunal and the other party.
Members of an Appeal Tribunal
The tribunal's chairman and deputy are advocates or solicitors of at least seven years standing who may sit alone or together, with one or two other appointed members.
Also, in a case where expert advice may be required, the tribunal can call upon an independent assessor or assessors, to sit with them.
The salaries and expenses of the tribunal are met by the States of Jersey.
Compensation for successful appeals
The tribunal has the power to award compensation if it decides that the action of the inspector who served the notice was unreasonable in the circumstances, and if they believe that losses have been incurred as a result.
If appropriate, it can also order costs to be paid by one party to the other.
When the appeal is against a prohibition notice, the appellant has to appeal to have the notice suspended at the outset for compensation to be considered at a later date.
If you disagree with the tribunal's decision
In specific circumstances such as new and unforseen evidence coming to light, or in the interests of justice, the tribunal's findings may be challenged.
This must be done within 14 days of the tribunal's decision but may be dismissed if the tribunal feels that the reasons are unjustified. Otherwise, it can change or revoke a decision or order a new hearing.
The Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law, 1989
Under the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law, 1989 powers are given to appointed inspectors to issue both Improvemernt and Prohibition Notices.
Under Article 13 an inspector may serve on a person an improvement notice, where he / she believes that the person is contravening, or has contravened and is likely to continue to do so or do so again, any of the relevant statutory provisions. Such a notice must give particulars of the inspector's reasons for his / her belief, and require the person to remedy the contravention within a specified period.
Under Article 14 an inspector may serve on a person under whose control activities, to which the relevant statutory provisions apply or would apply, are or are likely to be carried on, a prohibition notice, if he / she believes those activities involve or would involve a risk of serious personal injury. Such a notice must specify the matters giving rise to the risk and also particulars of his / her reasons for believing that the relevant statutory provisions are or would be contravened, if he / she believes this to be the case.
The notice must direct that the activities in question shall not be carried on unless the matters giving rise to the risk of serious personal injury, and any contravention of the relevant statutory provision, are remedied.
A prohibition notice has immediate effect if the notice so declares, otherwise it has effect at the end of the period specified in the notice.