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Health and safety at work

Health and safety at work applies to all businesses and covers:

  • employees, full or part-time, temporary or permanent
  • self-employed people
  • young people on work experience, and apprentices
  • charity workers
  • mobile workers and homeworkers

It also protects any visitors or contractors on business premises.

Health and safety visits and inspections

Health and safety officers may visit a premises for many reasons including:

  • routine health and safety inspections
  • part of an educational campaign
  • in response to an accident or complaint

An officer will expect to look at the workplace, the activities being carried out and the management of health and safety in order to check that the employer is complying with health and safety law.

If an officer finds a breach of the health and safety law, then they will take action to try and rectify the problem.

Possible actions include:

  • informal action
  • improvement notice
  • prohibition notice
  • prosecution

After any visit the officer should provide employees with information about any actions taken.

Advice available for businesses on the Health and Safety (HSE) website

To meet your obligations under health and safety law you will need to make sure that you’ve thought about the health and safety risks, not only to your employees, but also to any contractors or any other person who is affected by your undertaking.

Cooling towers and evaporative condensers

Over recent years there have been a number of outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease which have been associated with cooling towers and evaporative condensers.

All premises where cooling towers and evaporative condensers are situated must register with us so that we can identify potential areas that could give rise to the spread of infectious diseases such as Legionnaires' disease.

Notify us of your cooling tower or evaporative condenser by completing the application form (PDF) and emailing it to us.