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Health and safety bodies and inspectors

Updating author: Ruth Wintersgill


  • The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 provides the main framework for health and safety law in the UK. (See Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974)
  • The Health and Safety Executive is the single national non-departmental regulatory body responsible for promoting the cause of better health and safety at work through health and safety legislation, research and the enforcement of health and safety legislation in higher-risk sectors. (See Health and Safety Executive)
  • Responsibility for the Health and Safety Executive lies with the Department for Work and Pensions. (See Department for Work and Pensions)
  • The Employment Medical Advisory Service can provide employers with expert advice on work-related medical matters. (See Employment Medical Advisory Service)
  • Local authority environmental health officers are responsible for the enforcement of health and safety legislation in most lower-risk sectors. (See Local authorities)
  • The Health and Safety Executive and local authorities are empowered to appoint suitably qualified persons as inspectors to enforce health and safety legislation. (See Inspectors)
  • Various trade associations have developed safety standards that, in some instances, have acquired a limited legal status. (See Trade associations)
  • The British Standards Institution is responsible for facilitating, drafting, publishing and marketing British Standards and other guidelines. (See British Standards Institution)