Investigating your complaint
We will not always visit the premises you have complained about. After speaking to you and making an initial assessment, we may decide to phone the premises and ask them to rectify the matter you have complained about.
We investigate all non-fatal workplace accidents which are serious or show a pattern of poor health and safety management at a workplace.
We investigate all work-related deaths on premises that it is our responsibility (rather than the HSE’s) to inspect and regulate.
Fatalities and serious accidents should be reported immediately by your employer or premises manager.
Find out more about accident reporting rules and regulations.
How long does an investigation take?
The time we take to investigate a complaint will vary. It can range from a few days to many months.
Cases in which we decide to prosecute or caution an offender can take more than a year to complete.
Results of investigations
Our main aim with any complaint investigation is to make sure that unsafe conditions are made safe. We also aim to find out whether any health and safety offence has been committed.
We will tell you about the outcome of the investigation and the investigating officer will explain the reasons for the final decision.
If we have enough evidence to prove that an offence has been committed, we will consider legal action. In deciding whether to take legal action, we will consider:
- how serious the offence is, and the nature of any injuries or ill health suffered as a result of the offence
- the steps that had been taken to avoid the unsafe conditions or prevent the accident happening
- the offender's willingness to co-operate
- whether anyone has been negligent or tried to gain from allowing the unsafe conditions to occur
- the likelihood that the offender will re-offend
- your views.
Sometimes businesses wish to apologise to those affected by the complaint. We will only give them your contact details if you give your consent.
We cannot give you advice about your right to compensation.
You should take independent legal advice about pursuing a claim for compensation. You can get advice about your legal rights from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Some workplaces are the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), find out which businesses come under HSE on their website. For more information, please also visit our page on health and safety regulation and inspection.
Report accidents at work online
Fatalities and major injuries must be reported by phoning the Incident Contact Centre or using the HSE’s out of hours service. All other accidents can be reported via the Health and Safety Executive website.