Role of the health and safety team

Enforcement of health and safety, what we deal with.

We are responsible for ensuring that certain businesses provide a safe working environment for:

  • employees
  • members of the public
  • contractors

Enforcement of health and safety

The enforcement of health and safety at work is divided between the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a central government agency, and local authorities.

The HSE is responsible for:

  • factories
  • manufacturing industries
  • construction
  • demolition sites
  • council buildings
  • other public buildings

Our health and safety team is responsible for:

  • retail premises
  • cooling tower notifications
  • certain warehouses
  • hotels
  • leisure type premises
  • certain service type industries including private residential care homes
  • asbestos

Health and safety within food businesses 

We enforce health and safety in all food businesses, except food manufacturers.

Read more on our food safety pages.

What we deal with

Our health and safety team deals with:

  • inspections
  • accident investigations
  • complaints
  • health and safety guidance/advice
  • prohibition notices
  • prosecutions


We inspect high-risk premises or processes.

The risks that are assessed include:

  • size of the business
  • machinery and equipment
  • attitude of managers/owners towards health and safety
  • access by members of the public

We also inspect premises where we receive information of poor health and safety practices.

Fire safety at work is the responsibility of the London Fire Brigade (LFB). We inform them of any fire precautions or issues found on site during an inspection.

Find out more about fire safety at work on the London Fire Brigade website.

Accident investigations

We investigate accidents that happen in a workplace. This includes accidents where a member of the public is taken to hospital or receives medical advice.


We investigate complaints about health and safety at those premises for which we are responsible.

Health and safety guidance/advice

Our experienced and dedicated officers offer free health and safety guidance and advice to businesses, employees and members of the public to assist them in providing a safer and healthier work environment.

We use educational techniques as well as enforcement to achieve compliance with health and safety regulations.

We also work with planning and building control officers to advise on the health and safety implications of new developments.

Contact us if you need any advice or guidance.

Enforcement action

If premises are assessed as unsafe after a visit or investigation by an officer, we could serve a business with:

  • a prohibition notice to stop dangerous activities
  • an improvement notice or warning letter detailing contraventions or bad practices found at the time of inspection, and a remedy for them
  • verbal advice for minor contravention (breaking of a rule)


As a last resort, or as a consequence of an accident investigation where serious failings by the business were found, the health and safety team may begin legal proceedings against the company, individuals or both.

Where a business has been prosecuted for breaking health and safety rules, the details will be available on the HSE's public register of convictions website.

Our service delivery plan

Read our health and safety service delivery plan 2023/24

See also our service standards document

See also the Trading Standards Service plan 2024-2025

Contact commercial environmental health