What to expect from a health and safety visit

Appeals against health and safety enforcement notices

If you are served with an improvement notice or prohibition notice you will be told in writing about your right to appeal and provided with the appropriate form.

Appeals must be made to an industrial tribunal.

You can appeal if you disagree with the inspector's opinion that you are breaking the law, or you disagree that your activities give rise to a risk of serious personal injury. If you don't understand what the notice is requiring you to do, or you think you need more time, you should get in touch with the inspector for advice.

If you appeal against an improvement notice, the notice will be suspended until your appeal is heard.

If you appeal against a prohibition notice, the notice stays in force until after your appeal unless you apply to the tribunal to have it lifted pending the appeal. If the secretary of the tribunal agrees with your application, the notice will be lifted pending the court's decision.

The tribunal hearing your appeal can either:

  • uphold the notice
  • vary the terms of the notice
  • quash the notice

If the tribunal upholds or varies the terms of an improvement notice, you must ensure that you comply with the law by taking the required remedial action within the time specified.

If the tribunal upholds a prohibition notice, you must not resume the prohibited activity without taking the required remedial action.

Businesses must comply with a notice or face a fine. In some cases the owners or directors - for incorporated businesses - could face a prison sentence.