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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks.

Breaches GB

A breach can be raised by the Health & Safety Executive GB as part of an investigation or inspection where Health & Safety regulations have been broken, or there has been a failure in compliance. A company may have several breaches logged against them for the same incident as a breach will be reported for each regulation which has been broken.

Improvement Notices and Prosecutions GB

As the Health and Safety regulator for England, Wales and Scotland (GB) the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issues Improvement Notices data and enforces health and safety legislation for most industry sectors in Great Britain. This covers places where there is work activity such as:

  • Factories
  • Building sites
  • Mines and Quarries
  • Farms
  • Fairgrounds
  • Chemical plant
  • Offshore and nuclear installations
  • Schools and hospitals

HSE’s emphasis is on prevention but, where appropriate, they will enforce the law where they find it is being deliberately flouted.

They take enforcement action to ensure duty holders:

  • deal immediately with serious risks (so they prevent harm)
  • comply with the law
  • are held to account if they fail in their responsibilities

In most cases, the HSE will try to resolve an issue with an HSE Improvement Notice along with a date for when they expect corrective measures to be taken by. Should the offender fail to take the appropriate measures it may result in prosecution.

The HSE prosecutes companies and individuals for breaches of health and safety law. When they prosecute someone, they prepare a ‘Case’ against them. The case may involve one or more instances when the defendant has failed to comply with health and safety law – each one of these is referred to as a ‘Breach’

Any cases subject to appeal are not made publicly available. To account for the appeals process and quality assurance, the HSE allows 9 weeks to elapse following conviction before a case is added to the public register. If the HSE is notified of an appeal outside the 9-week period, the case will be removed from the public register until it is resolved.

Improvement Notices and Prosecutions NI

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for the Economy (DfE).

HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland. They have similar regulatory powers to their counterparts for Great Britain the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who cover England, Wales, and Scotland as a single agency.

HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland. They will issue notices and prosecute where necessary to ensure regulations are observed by individuals and organisations alike

HSENI and local councils

Whilst HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland, it shares this responsibility with the 11 local councils.

Together, HSENI and the local councils cover all work situations in Northern Ireland that are subject to the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

HSENI’s enforcement responsibilities cover

  • factories
  • building sites
  • farms
  • motor vehicle repairs
  • mines and quarries
  • chemical plants
  • schools and universities
  • leisure and entertainment facilities (owned by local councils)
  • fairgrounds
  • hospitals and nursing homes
  • fire and police
  • government departments
  • railways
  • any other workplace not covered by local councils

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