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The HSE and the Local Authority has the ability to serve Enforcement Notices. There are two types of enforcement notices: Prohibition Notices and Improvement Notices.

A Prohibition Notice can stop work on site. An Improvement Notice simply requires an improvement to be made. Both are published on the HSE’s online Register of Notices.

Service of an Improvement or Prohibition Notice can have a serious impact upon a business. Some large companies will not contract with sub-contractors who have an Enforcement Notice registered against them, and a Local Authority may take this stance. Therefore, you should always consider an appeal.

What Will Happen?

The appropriate health and safety regulator (either the Local Authority or HSE, dependent upon industry) will visit your place of work for one of three reasons:

  • It may be that it is a ‘routine inspection’
  • An accident may have occurred
  • A report may have been made by a complainant

All of these situations provide the regulator with an opportunity to serve an enforcement notice.

If a HSE Inspector believes that there is a breach of health and safety practice which needs to be remedied to protect safety and prevent injury, a notice will be served. The Enforcement Notice will be in relation to a particular issue. An Improvement Notice gives the recipient time to comply with the Notice, whereas a Prohibition Notice stops work until the Notice has been complied with.

All Enforcement Notices are recorded on the HSE public register for five years. Even following the five years, the Enforcement Notices can still be viewed in the Notice History Database. The HSE Inspector is likely to revisit site in order to establish whether the Notice has been complied with.

How Can We Help?

If you believe that you have been issued with an Improvement Notice or Prohibition Notice unfairly, we can assist you in making an appeal. By appealing the notice, you can either overturn the Notice entirely, or appeal it in order that it is reconsidered in its scope.

Our health and safety team is experienced in making appeals efficiently and effectively. Appeals can be undertaken on a fixed fee basis to ensure that the appeal is made on a commercially astute and practical basis.

Who Should You Contact?

If you would like any advice in relation to appealing against the relevant Notice, or discussing pricing options, please contact Emma Windle.


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