Enforcing the health and safety at work law
Inspectors from the Health and Safety Inspectorate enforce the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law, 1989.
They also enforce other health and safety at work legislation and approved codes of practice.
Inspectors have the right to enter any workplace without giving any notice. Notice may be given where the inspector thinks it is appropriate.
If you have concerns about their identity:
- ask to see their photographic ID or warrant card
- check which department they are from
- telephone the Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate
How inspectors enforce the health and safety at work law
Inspectors may take enforcement action in several ways to deal with a breach of the law.
In most cases these are either in the form of:
- advice given at the time or by letter
- an improvement notice
- a prohibition notice
- recommendation for prosecution
On a routine inspection visit an inspector would:
- look at the workplace
- look at the work activities
- check your management of health and safety
- check you are complying with health and safety legislation
- offer guidance or advice
- talk to employees and their representatives
- take photographs and samples
- serve legal notices if there is an immediate risk to health and safety
Health and safety inspectors are authorised by the Social Security Minister to issue enforcement notices where it is considered, in the opinion of the inspector, that there is a breach of health and safety legislation.
A notice make take the form of an Improvement Notice or a Prohibition Notice.
The inspector can take further legal action if the notice is not complied with within the specified time period.
Enforcement notices and your right to appeal
The inspector, following an investigation, may decide to initiate a prosecution. Decisions on whether to prosecute are taken by the Law Officers Department.
The Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law, 1989 gives the courts considerable scope to punish offenders and deter others. For example a failure to comply with an improvement or prohibition notice, carries a fine of up to £20,000, or six months imprisonment, or both.
Higher courts can impose unlimited fines or in some cases imprisonment.
Information for employees or their representatives
An inspector will check arrangements are in place for consulting and informing employees, or their representatives, about health and safety matters. These arrangements are required by law.
Where possible an inspector will meet or speak to you during a visit. In some circumstances this may clearly be inappropriate because of the purpose of the visit.
You should always be given the opportunity to speak privately to the inspector.
The inspector will provide you or your representative with certain information which relates to the workplace or activity taking place, and any action which the inspector has taken or proposes to take.
The type of information that an inspector will provide includes:
- matters which an inspector considers to be of serious concern
- details of any enforcement action taken by the inspector
- an intention to refer the matter to the Law Officers Department (but not before the dutyholder is informed)
Depending on the circumstances, the inspector may provide this information orally or in writing.
Contact the Director of Health and Safety if you want to complain that these procedures have not been followed.
Free leaflets are available from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), including information on what businesses must do by law.
Health and Safety Executive books website
Health and safety at work law and regulations