Health and Safety Authority (HSA) inspections

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is responsible for enforcement of health and safety at work legislation.

The HSA monitors compliance and investigates accidents, causes of ill health and complaints.

Workplace HSA inspections

HSA inspectors could call on you at any time.

During an inspection a HSA inspector will look for:

  • written evidence of the existence and implementation of your safety statement
  • workplace specific risk assessments which are required by current legislation
  • other relevant safety documentation which may be required by current legislation
  • evidence of compliance with your safety statement and legislation

During an inspection, the inspector will meet with the most senior person in charge in the workplace. They will outline the nature of the inspection.

The inspector may ask to meet with the health and safety manager, advisor or safety representative. During an inspection, they may want to speak to the named people in the safety statement with responsibility for health and safety.

A meeting is normally held with the most senior person in charge to give them a report of the inspection findings.

HSA correspondence

HSA correspondence may include:

Report of inspection
A report is issued to the person in charge during the inspection. This report sets out minor breaches and identifies areas where improvements can be made. The person in charge must countersign this report, confirming receipt and that the items on the report will be remedied.

Improvement direction
This report relates to activities that the inspector considers may cause risk to safety or health. An employer must respond to this report with an improvement plan.

Improvement notice
An improvement notice is served on a duty holder where they have contravened an Act or Regulation. The notice requires that the contravention be addressed within a certain time period. This period will not be less than 14 days.

Prohibition notice
A prohibition notice is served where an inspector thinks an activity is likely to involve a risk of serious personal injury. This notice takes effect immediately.

Local management are responsible for ensuring that HSA correspondence is addressed fully and meets any deadlines imposed by the HSA.

Local management must supply copies of all HSA correspondence to the National Health and Safety Helpdesk. This is for assurance by the Health and Safety Management Advisory Committee and Risk Committee.

Related document

Health and Safety Authority correspondence safety alert


There are strict timescales for lodging an appeal.

Get information about the appeals process on the HSA website

Contact HSE Health and Safety helpdesk

Use the Health and Safety self-service portal or

Phone: 1800 420 420

Monday to Friday 10.30am to 12 noon and 2.00pm to 3.30pm