Health and safety inspections

Environmental health officers' aim is to protect the health and safety and welfare of employees and to safeguard others, principally the public, who may be exposed to risks from work activities within your business.

This is primarily carried out through routine inspection of the workplace. Officers are responsible for the enforcement of health and safety within approximately 4,000 premises in Salford.

Purpose of health and safety interventions

The primary responsibility for controlling health and safety within the workplace rests with the employer of the business, however, environmental health officers visit various workplaces to check compliance with health and safety legislation and to give advice.

Planning interventions

The local authority keeps a record of all businesses that fall within their enforcement regime and put together a programme, based on national guidance, to make sure that all high risk premises are inspected. The work of the health and safety enforcement service is coordinated with the other ten Greater Manchester authorities (AGMA). This year key areas include violence at work, tyre fitters and warehouses.

Frequency of inspections

The frequency of our interventions depend upon a number of factors that look at the risk to consumers. These include:

  • Safety performance: A numerical rating from one (excellent) to six (unacceptable) to indicate the inspector's judgment of the overall level of compliance of safety risks at the workplace. This must be based on a wholescale review of all the findings from an inspection or other significant intervention (the potential of a machine, activity or methods of work, etc, to cause harm)
  • Health performance: A numerical rating from one (excellent) to six (unacceptable), to indicate the inspector's judgment of the overall level of compliance regarding health risks at the workplace in question. This is based on a whole-scale review of all the findings from an inspection or other significant intervention. This relates to both employees and those affected, or potentially affected, by work activities, eg members of the public
  • Welfare provision: A numerical rating, from one (compliant) to four (major non-compliance), to indicate the inspector's judgment of the overall level of compliance regarding welfare standards at the workplace in question based on a review of all the findings from an inspection or other significant intervention
  • Confidence in management: A numerical rating,from one (best practice) to six (avoiding responsibilities), to indicate an inspector's level of confidence in management's ability to maintain or attain a low level of health and safety risk, at the workplace or in relation to work activities, in the foreseeable future. This relates to both employees and those affected, or potentially affected, by work activities, eg members of the public

The inspection rating system

  • Enables officers to identify the contributions made by the various risk factors to the overall assessment of the workplace and prioritise business for an inspection or intervention
  • Categorises premises into group A (the highest hazard/risk group), through B1-B2 (medium risk), to C (the lowest hazard/risk)

Once the category has been determined, following the routine intervention, premises are visited as set out below:

Category Rating score Minimum frequency of inspection
A Score of five or six in any risk Inspected until no longer A rated
B1 Score of four in any risk Intervention in accordance with local and national priorities every 18 months
B2 Scores of three in any risk An intervention in accordance with local and national priorities every three years
C No score greater than two Use other non inspection intervention every five years

Business can move between the categories, particularly if conditions improve or deteriorate.

How we work

Pro-active health and safety interventions are carried out over a ten year programme, in accordance with HSE's Priority Planning Scheme and the HSE National Local Authority Enforcement Code.

How resources are targeted

The role of the service is to enforce and advise businesses on the relevant health and safety legislation across the city of Salford within approximately 4,000 health and safety premises. This is undertaken by using all the four approaches of the 'enforcement mix':

  • Demand: through our response to complaints/requests from both businesses and customers
  • Proactive intervention: by undertaking approximately 500 interventions in accordance with a risk-based approach
  • Education: through information and guidance to businesses via the website or targeted initiatives
  • Intelligence: through our liaison with other authorities and response to requests from the HSE and HSC

In addition the work of the service in contributing to the HSE strategy for health and safety will be tracked by recording the number of our interventions in five key areas, namely:

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