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Surviving a Health & Safety and Fire Inspection (PDF)

A Tips & Advice Special Report about...

In a nutshell

This fully updated Special Report is your essential guide to avoiding problems with health and safety and fire inspectors. It sets out what you can expect during a visit: from how you may be selected and contacted to the type of questions asked - and of course, how they should be answered to satisfy even the most awkward and demanding of inspectors.

In detail

In plain English, this Special Report covers:

  • What you can expect before and during the inspection
  • The fee for intervention scheme
  • How you should deal with an inspector
  • How to handle a formal interview
  • What happens after the inspection
  • What types of enforcement action exist

With HSE and local authority inspections resulting in ever greater fines, it’s vital that you know your rights. This Special Report is packed full of realistic tips and practical advice, making it essential reading for all businesses. Plus, it comes with an online service with handy documents that you can easily apply in your business.

We've created this Tips & Advice Special Report especially for... 

Anyone that wants to:

  • Avoid problems if selected for an inspection
  • Have all the information and documents to hand following an inspection

You'll get the following free extras with this Tips & Advice Special Report... 

An online service with ready-to-use documents

  • To immediately apply our advice and solutions in practice
  • That you can easily adapt to suit your own requirements

In this Tips & Advice Special Report you'll read about...

Part 1 - Surviving a health and safety inspection

1. The enforcing authorities

1.1. What is the inspector’s aim?

1.2. Who are the health and safety inspectors?

1.3. Do they work together?

1.4. How do we know who enforces health and safety in our business?

1.5. Who enforces health and safety in a large multi-site organisation?

1.6. How much authority do inspectors have?

2. Before the inspection

2.1. What prompts a visit?

2.2. Announced inspections

2.3. Unannounced inspections

3. What to expect during the inspection

3.1. What might the inspector want to see/do during their visit?

4. Fee for intervention

4.1. What is fee for intervention (FFI)?

4.2. Why was FFI introduced?

4.3. In what circumstances will fees arise under FFI?

4.4. Can individuals face FFI fees?

4.5. Can you appeal?

5. Dealing with the inspector

5.1. How should we receive inspectors?

5.2. What type of questions will the inspector ask?

5.3. What are “section 20 interviews”?

5.4. What are PACE interviews?

6. After the inspection

6.1. What might happen as a result of an inspection?

6.2. What might we receive as a result of the inspection?

6.3. Improvement notices

6.4. Prohibition notices

6.5. Can a notice be withdrawn?

6.6. What will lead to a prosecution?

6.7. What is the HSE database?

6.8. What if we’re not happy with the inspection?

6.9. How should we apply the lessons learned?

Part 2 - Surviving a fire safety inspection

1. Fire safety legislation

1.1. What is the current fire safety legislation?

1.2. Who does it apply to?

1.3. Who or what is the responsible person (RP)?

1.4. Which is the enforcing authority?

1.5. How is it enforced?

1.6. How is this achieved?

2. Fire safety inspectors

2.1. How much power do FSIs have?

2.2. What can’t they do?

2.3. What are we entitled to expect from an FSI?

2.4. Are we at risk of an inspection only while they are on duty?

2.5. What might we do that would catch their attention off duty?

3. What to expect during the inspection

3.1. Why could we be inspected?

3.2. Will we always be told if they intend to pay us a visit?

3.3. How much advance notice will we get?

3.4. How will we know if we are a target for a routine inspection?

3.5. Can we refuse an FSI entry to our premises?

3.6. Who will the FSI want speak to?

3.7. Should anything they say put us on guard?

3.8. What questions might we be asked during an inspection?

3.9. Must we answer all their questions?

3.10. Will we be asked to produce any documents?

4. Formal interviews

4.1. When will informal questioning become a formal interview?

4.2. Why could we face a formal interview?

4.3. What procedures will be followed?

4.4. Do we have the right to legal representation?

4.5. Where should the interview take place?

4.6. How should we answer formal questions?

5. Enforcement action

5.1. What options are available to an FSI?

5.2. What will an FSI consider when deciding on enforcement action?

5.3. When could we be prosecuted?

6. After the inspection

6.1. How long will it take until we find out what could happen?

6.2. What if we don’t hear anything following the inspection?

6.3. We think our fire protection measures are fine but the FRS disagrees - now what?

6.4. What happens if we appeal?

6.5. We accept there are errors but we disagree on remedial action - what can we do?

6.6. Can we ask for help?

6.7. What should we do if we have a complaint about an FSI?

6.8. If the FSI doesn’t find anything will they come back?

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