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About the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Contact Us - Health & Safety Executive

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The Health and Safety Executive in Guernsey (HSE) is the regulator for workplace health and safety in Guernsey and Alderney. Our mission: Reducing risks, protecting people

We provide advice, inspect workplaces, investigate accidents and incidents at work and secure compliance with health and safety laws through enforcement notices and prosecutions.

The fundamental principle of Guernsey's health and safety legislation is that those who create the risks are best placed to manage them. This involves assessing the risks and putting measures in place to reduce or control the risks in the workplace.

  • Our role as the regulator for workplace health and safety

  • The standards you can expect from us

    • We aim to provide excellent standards of service to all those who interact with us.
    • We will:
      • be polite and considerate;
      • give you our name when we speak to you;
      • either wear a name badge, give you a business card or show you a warrant if we meet you.
    • We also aim to:
      • reply to all enquiries or complaints, or let you know what we are doing about them, within ten working days;
      • consult our users regularly about the services we provide;
      • provide services that are accessible to everyone; and
      • use our resources effectively.
    • If we fail to meet these standards we will apologise and aim to put things right.
    • Complaints and feedback:
    • If you are not satisfied with our service, please contact the HSE or phone 01481 220010 to discuss your concerns.
    • If you received excellent service, please let us know by completing the online Compliments, Complaints and Comments form.
    • If you want to complain about the service you received from HSE, you can do so via the States of Guernsey
  • HSE's data protection and fair processing commitment

    • Why does HSE need your personal data?

    • HSE only collects the information necessary to deal with your inquiry or comply with the reporting requirements of Health and Safety legislation in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. This includes both personal data and special categories of personal (aka sensitive) data.
    • For statutory reports of accidents, incidents, dangerous occurrences and occupational diseases (RIDDOR), HSE may obtain:
      • Your name, gender and date of birth;
      • Your address, telephone (or mobile phone) number and email address;
      • Name of your employer and your role or job title;
      • Nature of the injury or medical problem;
      • This information is retained for a minimum period of 40 years (the statutory period for the accident report forms to be retained).
    • For general inquiries and complaints, HSE may obtain:
      • Your name and one form of contact number for us to respond to your query or complaint.
      • This information is retained for 7 years, where this relates to a safety or welfare issue, or for 40 years, where it relates to occupational diseases or health issues, for example asbestos exposure, or occupational noise and vibration.  
    • HSE also deals with anonymous complaints, and you do not have to provide us with any personal information, unless you require us to provide you with a response or additional information.
    • How does HSE obtain and use personal data?

    • HSE's functions are set out in the Health and Safety at Work (General) (Guernsey) Ordinance, 1987. In carrying out these functions, we necessarily collect information on businesses and individuals. You might also provide us with information by using this website, for example, by giving us feedback or sending a query or request to us. HSE is registered as a data controller under the Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2017 (as amended) and a description of how we use personal information is included on HSE's entry on the register which is maintained by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.
    • HSE is under a legal duty to protect any personal information we collect and we will only use that information in accordance with the law, including the Data Protection Laws and the Health and Safety at Work Ordinance.
    • Fair processing notice

    • Additional information can be found on the States of Guernsey Data Protection page. pdf icon Please follow this link to view the fair processing notice. [188kb]
    • We use leading technologies and encryption software to safeguard data and apply strict security standards to prevent any unauthorised access to it. In order to carry out our functions and respond to enquiries effectively, we will sometimes need to share information with other government committees, the emergency services, law enforcement agencies and public authorities (including Trading Standards, Environmental Health, the waste authority). However, we will only do this where it is permitted by law or for the purpose of criminal investigations.
    • You have the right to know if HSE is processing your personal data, and you may obtain a copy of your personal data from the HSE by emailing This service is free and normally takes up to one month. If you think data we hold is incorrect, please let us know and we will rectify any inaccurate personal data.
    • We will not share your personal information with external parties without your consent except where we are required to by Law or in connection with a criminal investigation. In the absence of any previous consent provided by you, we will contact you should we consider disclosure to a third party is necessary for us to fully investigate your complaint or enquiry.
    • This privacy notice does not cover any third party websites reached via links on this website.  You are advised to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.
    • If you have concerns about how your data is used, please contact the Data Protection Officer for the Committee for Employment and Social Security by emailing .

HSE's main missions:
1. investigate accidents, incidents and complaints about health and safety at work,
2. provide advice on health and safety at work, and
3. issue licences and permits for some work activities.

  • Report an accident or a concern about workplace health and safety

  • Advice about workplace health and safety

    • All employers and self-employed people have legal duties under Guernsey health and safety legislation, this extends to all businesses and housing landlords.
    • Employees also have legal duties to cooperate with their employer and to use provided health and safety equipment correctly.
    • If you need advice on workplace health and safety, please follow this link for guidance applicable in Guernsey and Alderney .
    • If there is no specific Guernsey legislation applicable, HSE Guernsey will use UK legislationapproved codes of practice and guidance as the appropriate standard to benchmark health and safety compliance.
    • Report health and safety concerns
    • Our team can also provide basic health and safety advice by phone on 01481 220010, or by email to This is not a substitute for obtaining competent health and safety advice from your health and safety manager or consultant. HSE cannot review risk assessments or policies and procedures. 
  • Status of approved codes of practices about workplace health and safety

    • Where legislation is considered too difficult for a typical dutyholder to interpret the HSE and British standards institute have introduced approved code of practices. It is not mandatory to follow ACoPs, however they have special legal status and they exist for a number of high-risk workplace topics.

    • If a dutyholder follows the advice in the ACoPs they are guaranteed to be doing enough to comply with the law in respect of those specific matters on which it gives it advice.

    • Where a dutyholder diverts from an ACoP they may have to justify that decision in court by providing evidence to show they have attained equivalent levels of safety.

    • The methods prescribed by ACoPs are based on research and experience from previous HSE investigations and collating an equivalent level of evidence for alternate procedures will be expensive and time consuming and in some cases may not be possible at all.
  • Licences and permits

    • 1. Permissioning

    • This means we give 'permission' for certain work activities involving significant hazard, risk or public concern, for example where there are risks of:
      • multiple fatalities from a single or linked series of events,
      • widespread and significant adverse effects on human health.
    • A permissioning regime means particular work activities can only start or continue when we grant a permit, for example, for the erection of scaffolds, temporary structures, banners, hoarding and street decorations.
    • 2. Licensing

    • A 'licence' is an authorisation from us to undertake a work activity which would otherwise be unlawful. It is only granted for very specific work activities. 
    • We operate licensing regimes in certain industry sectors where we provide authorisation for specific work activities, for example:
    • 3. Applications

    • Application forms can be found under the relevant topic (see links below). You must apply in advance and, in any event, at least 10 working days before you seek to commence the work. There is a fee payable pdf icon Fees for licences and permits 2023 [153kb] .
    • 4. How we decide on applications

    • The HSE will consider your application, and we may require additional information before it can be processed.
    • Being granted a permit or a licence is not a right but a privilege. Therefore, HSE expects all applicants to demonstrate high standards in all aspects of health and safety management, including controls of risks and activities, individual and corporate competence, and health and safety leadership.
    • Your application may be refused if:
      • you fail to provide all the required information;
      • the work activity is not properly controlled;
      • you have previously failed to comply with permit or licence conditions;
      • you have been convicted of certain offences;
      • you have failed to pay the fees required for permits or licences.
    • You have a right of appeal against a decision to refuse to grant a permit or licence. Please contact for details.

Issues for which HSE is not the primary enforcing authority:
1. Employment contracts
2. Food safety
3. Waste
4. Dangerous walls, neighbour and boundary disputes

  • Employment issues (contracts, unfair dismissal, pay...)

  • Food safety

  • Unwanted chemicals and hazardous waste

    • States Works collect hazardous unwanted chemicals from householders and businesses. The States of Guernsey later export the waste for recovery or disposal, given the lack of suitable facilities on island. Most services are chargeable.
    • Please contact or 01481 226263 to dispose of unwanted chemicals and hazardous waste.
  • Dangerous walls, neighbour and boundary disputes

    • HSE is not able to assist in civil disputes between neighbours. Our core mission is to protect workers and the public from the risks arising from work activities. 
    • In some cases, the Parish Constables have some powers to deal with dangerous walls. Please follow this link for Parish contacts.

What HSE does not do:
1. HSE is not a substitute for competent health and safety advice. If you do not have sufficient in-house expertise, you will need to engage a competent health and safety adviser or consultant. 

2. HSE is not a health and safety consultancy; we cannot undertake risk-assessments or method statements on your behalf.

3. HSE does not provide legal advice. Our guidance will assist you in complying with your health and safety duties. If you are injured at work, HSE cannot advise on any civil claims you may wish to pursue. 


Health and safety in the workplace - General Guide Employers Liability Insurance (Guernsey) Guidance Health and Safety at Work (General) (Guernsey) Ordinance 1987 as amended - version 7 September 2020 Health and Safety Law poster - Alderney Health and Safety Law Poster - Guernsey HSE Guernsey - Enforcement Policy Statement HSE Guernsey - enforcement policy statement - public safety EMM Guernsey operational version 1.2 Reportable accidents at work - Statistics 2019 HSE Guernsey - Business plan 2023-2025 Fees for licences and permits 2023 Health and Safety Executive Fair Processing Notice

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