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 to your workplace at any time.
Most HSA inspections are unannounced but they sometimes make appointments to ensure they meet with the appropriate people on the day of inspection.
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 may include:
Report of inspection
A report of Inspection setting out areas for improvement and advice about health and safety at work.
Improvement notice or contravention notice
An improvement notice or contravention notice for breaches of legislation giving you a period of time to make improvements.
A prohibition notice where there a risk of serious personal injury which will stop you doing something until you have made it safe to continue.
Prosecution through the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for failing to comply with the law or not complying with one of the above notices.
The HSE now monitors HSA correspondence data through HSMAC and Risk Committee. It is mandatory that copies of HSA correspondence relating to a workplace visit is uploaded to the National Health & Safety Function helpdesk. Local management must retain original copies for appropriate action.
This process is in place for assurance purposes. It remains local management’s responsibility to ensure issues raised in HSA correspondence are addressed fully, appropriately and on time (meeting HSA deadlines set out in the correspondence).
There are strict timescales for lodging an appeal.