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Health and safety bodies and inspectors

Updating author: Mary Lawrence, Osborne Clarke


  • 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. (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)