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Health and safety

The council’s Health and Safety Team works to ensure that employers and the self employed within the borough manage their workplaces with due regard to the Health and safety of their workforce and those affected by their work activities.

We are responsible for the enforcement of health and safety legislation in the following types of premises:

  • shops
  • offices
  • hotels
  • banks and building societies
  • restaurants
  • theatres and cinemas
  • leisure activities
  • sports stadia
  • nurseries and playgroups
  • beauty parlours
  • boarding kennels and catteries
  • pubs and clubs
  • museums (privately owned)
  • places of worship
  • sheltered accommodation and care homes
  • wholesale and retail warehouses

Most other workplaces in the borough are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Advice and guidance

The HSE provide information, advice and guidance on a wide range of health and safety topics, available free of charge on the HSE website.

They also provide a range of practical tools to help duty holders comply with health and safety law.  

Should you require any further help, you can email us at health&safety@lbbd.gov.uk.

Reporting accidents and incidents

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation 2013 (RIDDOR)

If you are an employer, self employed or in control of work premises, you are obliged to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).

You must report:

  • deaths and injuries caused by workplace accidents 
  • occupational diseases
  • exposure to carcinogens, mutagens and biological agents
  • specified injuries to workers
  • dangerous occurrences
  • gas incidents

You can find more information on reporting requirements on the RIDDOR website.

All incidents may be reported on line on the RIDDOR report website, although the HSE provide a telephone service for reporting fatal/specified and major incidents only.

Health and safety inspections

Our job is to keep people safe and healthy at work. We visit many locations every year as part of that job and may visit any premises within the Borough that is under our enforcement.

Before we start

We may arrive without warning. This isn’t unusual, we don’t always tell people we’re coming, and the law lets us visit at any reasonable time. Although we have the powers to come into your workplace, our officers still have to follow the government’s code of practice on entering homes or businesses.

You can complain if you think our officer hasn’t followed the code.

During the visit

The officer will look at how you keep your workers, and anyone who may be affected by your work, healthy and safe. They may also give you advice on health and safety or make sure you are providing suitable welfare facilities, such as running hot and cold water and toilets.

While the inspector is with you, they may:

  • ask you about your workers and what they do
  • look at any possible health risks arising from the work you are doing
  • look at any machinery or other equipment that you have
  • ask to see records or other documents
  • take photographs

The inspector will want to know about:

  • the main health and safety issues in your workplace
  • your own knowledge or experience of health and safety

The inspector may also talk to you about things like safety standards, guidance and everyday practices in your industry.

The inspector may take action if they find you’re breaking the law during the visit. They may also tell you to stop a dangerous activity in your workplace immediately. For example, a dangerous activity could be people working on a roof where scaffolding is unsafe.

After the visit

After the inspector has finished looking round your workplace, they might:

  • offer advice (either verbal or in writing) to help you better comply with health and safety law
  • write to you requiring you to take specified actions to comply with health and safety law
  • give you an improvement notice (an improvement notice tells you what is wrong, what you must do to put it right and how long you have to make those changes. We will give you at least 21 days to make any changes. You commit a criminal offence if you don’t make the changes in the time we give you) 
  • give you a prohibition notice if there is a risk of serious personal injury now or in the future (a prohibition notice orders you to stop doing something until you have made it safe to continue. You commit a criminal offence if you don’t comply with a prohibition notice)
  • prosecute you for breaching health and safety laws (we can prosecute you for breaking health and safety laws or for failing to comply with an improvement notice or a prohibition notice. The courts can fine you or in some cases send you to prison)

Reporting health and safety concerns or complaints

If you have a concern or complaint about the way health and safety is managed in your workplace, you should in the first instance, if possible, discuss your concern with your employer or union representative. If this is unsuccessful or if a vulnerable person is concerned, we may investigate your complaint.

You can send details of your concern to us by post, to

Health and Safety Team
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Lower Ground Floor
Barking Town Hall
1 Town Square
Barking
IG11 7LU

Or by email, to health&safety@lbbd.gov.uk

Please provide a contact telephone number so that we may contact you to discuss your concerns if necessary and to inform you of the outcome of any investigation.

Please be advised that we are unlikely to investigate any complaints that are sent to us anonymously, although you may ask us to investigate without disclosing your identity to your employer.