The law requires businesses to take reasonable steps to make sure their staff are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. You can use this page to report concerns relating to your safety, or the safety or others.
Businesses must take reasonable steps to make sure that their staff and others are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. If you consider that your employer or someone else's work activity is putting your safety at risk, or damaging your health, then you should raise your concerns with that employer or person and try to resolve the issue, and/or contact your work/safety representative.
If there is no improvement and your safety or health continues to be at risk, you can raise it with the relevant enforcing authority.
We are responsible for the enforcement of health and safety relating to the following workplaces:
- offices, shops, restaurants, canteens, leisure activities and places of entertainment (such as sports centres and cinemas)
- retail warehouses and tyre and exhaust fitters
- childcare, playgroup and nurseries in non-domestic and non-school premises, and residential care homes
- tattooists and therapeutic treatments by non-registered medical practitioners
The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for the enforcement of health and safety relating to the following workplaces:
- garages and motor vehicle repair
- manufacturing, construction and building work
- mobile workers (such as gas fitters, electricians and plumbers)
- schools, colleges, hospitals and nursing homes
We can only take action following a complaint if:
- it relates to a work activity, and we are the correct enforcing authority for the work
- the issue complained about has caused or has potential to cause significant harm
- the issue being complained about relates to the denial of basic employee welfare facilities
- it appears to involve a significant breach of law, for which we are the enforcing authority
We use a complaints matrix to screen all complaints and allocate them as Red, Amber or Green, depending on the likelihood of persons receiving serious personal injuries or suffering irreversible health affects. We then decide what action we will take. It is unlikely that inspectors will visits premises for complaints about circumstances that are unlikely to result in serious or significant injury or ill health.
We will investigate your problem or incident in a number of ways. We may:
- contact the business to verbally confirm the facts surrounding the incident, and what has been done to prevent a recurrence
- visit the business to investigate the facts surrounding the reported incident, and check the level of compliance with health and safety law
- request the business to provide evidence that it is complying with the law
- carry out a full inspection of the business, depending on the initial investigation findings
- ask the business to investigate your complaint and inform us of the findings
We will take the appropriate action necessary and in accordance with our enforcement policy to ensure that the business complies with health and safety law.
Feedback on your complaint
If you want feedback, we will contact you and let you know what we have done and explain our decision.
Although we will investigate your concerns in confidence, depending on the nature and circumstances of your concern, it may be possible for the person you are reporting to guess that you notified us, particularly if you have already raised the matter with them. However, we do not share your information with anyone else unless it is necessary as part of our investigation, or is subject to a Freedom of Information enquiry.
If you are reporting a workplace health and safety issue, employment law gives you protection as a whistleblower, especially in relation to unfair dismissal. This includes the importance of the following the correct process. Visit the GOV.UK website to find out more about Whistleblowing for employees.
We will not normally investigate your incident if you have made it anonymously, or you have withheld your contact details. This is because we are not able to confirm or discuss the incident details with you. We often receive malicious complaints from disgruntled ex-employees or customers and need to ensure the complaints we are investigating are genuine.
Anonymous complaints will only normally be considered if the allegation concerns serious risk of harm, or we have previously received similar notification
We do not, and cannot make a business compensate an employee or other person for an injury arising from the work activity of that business. The role and function of the Council is to identify breaches in legislation and take the appropriate enforcement action.
Last updated: 15 October 2023