Workplace inspections

Information on the legislation underpinning workplace inspections

Workplace inspection legislation

Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (external site) places the general duty on you to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all your employees. Employers need to provide:

  • training
  • instruction
  • information
  • supervision
  • a safe workplace
  • safe entry and exit
  • safe machinery, equipment and methods of work

Carrying out inspections enables you to identify whether you are providing these.

The law also requires some specific inspections to be carried out. For example, the annual inspection and safety check carried out on gas boilers. Other inspections that the law states need to happen are:

  • lifting equipment
  • local exhaust ventilation
  • pressure vessels

Inspections required by law need to be carried out by a competent person. This is someone with suitable knowledge, experience and training to carry out the work. Where the law requires inspections, it normally states how often they need to be carried out and they need to meet the standards set by a competent person.