HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE PURPOSE BASIC INFORMATION AND TUTORIALS


The main function of the HSE is to make adequate arrangements for the enforcement of the general duties of the HSWA and of any other relevant statutory provisions, eg regulations. Certain responsibilities for enforcement are undertaken by local authorities.

Powers of inspectors
Inspectors appointed under the HSWA are:  inspectors of the HSE;  environmental health officers of local authorities; and  for certain functions, fire officers. Under section 20 of the HSWA, inspectors have the following powers:

at any reasonable time (or, in a situation which in his opinion is or may be dangerous, at any time) to enter any premises which he has reason to believe it is necessary for him to enter;  to take with him a constable if he has reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction in the execution of his duty;  on entering any premises to take with him:

– any other person duly authorized by the enforcing authority;
– any equipment or materials required for any purpose for which the power of entry is being exercised; 

to make such examination and investigation as may in any circumstances be necessary;  to direct that premises or any part of them, or anything therein, shall be left undisturbed for the purpose of any examination or investigation; 

to take such measurements and photographs and make such recordings as he considers necessary for the purpose of any examination or investigation;


to take samples of any articles or substances found in any premises, and of the atmosphere in or in the vicinity of such premises;

in the case of any article or substance found in any premises, being an article or substance which appears to him to have caused or to be likely to cause danger to health or safety, to cause it to be dismantled or subjected to any process or test;

in the case of any article or substance mentioned above, to take possession of it and detain it for so long as is necessary for all or any of the following purposes, namely:

– to examine it;
– to ensure that it is not tampered with before his examination of it is completed;
– to ensure that it is available for use as evidence in any proceedings for an offence under any of the relevant statutory provisions or proceedings relating to a notice served;

to require any person whom he has reasonable cause to believe to be able to give any information relevant to any examination or investigation to answer (in the absence of persons other than a person nominated by him to be present and any persons whom the inspector may allow to be present) such questions as the inspector thinks fit to ask and to sign a declaration of truth of his answers  to require the production of, inspect and take copies of or any entry in:

– any books or documents which by virtue of any of the relevant statutory provisions are required to be kept; and

– any other books or documents which it is necessary for him to see for the purposes of any examination or investigation;  to require any person to afford him such facilities and assistance with respect to any matters or things within that person’s control or in relation to which that person has responsibilities as are necessary to enable the inspector to exercise any of the powers conferred on him by this section;  any other power which is necessary for the purpose of carrying into effect the relevant statutory provisions.

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