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Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - Reducing risks, protecting people

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.

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

COVID-19 (coronavirus)
- As part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey's exit from lockdown, there continues to be travel restrictions and mandatory COVID-19 testing on arrival from outside the Bailiwick, depending on the prevalence of COVID-19 in the traveller's country or region of departure and transit. 

- Most restrictions within the Bailiwick have been eased. Please follow this link for public health information on coronavirus.

- Please follow this link for business health and safety guidance during COVID-19.

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 Health and Safety Executive works collaboratively with other regulators, States of Guernsey services and agencies to regulate businesses and protect the Bailiwick community.
    • As a regulator, we aim to prevent workplace death, injury or ill health.
    • We achieve this using a variety of methods to influence change and help people manage risks at work. These include:
      • providing advice, information and guidance
      • raising awareness in workplaces by influencing and engaging
      • operating permissioning and licensing activities in major hazard industries
      • carrying out targeted inspections and investigations
      • taking enforcement action to prevent harm and hold those who break the law to account
    • The fundamental principle of health and safety law is that those who create risks are best placed to control them. We take into account the impact on the economy, by ensuring any action we take is proportionate, targeted, consistent, transparent and accountable.
    • In Guernsey, HSE regulates all work activities, including: 
  • 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  www.gov.gg/ccc.
  • 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. [990kb]
    • 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 hse@gov.gg. 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 data.protection@gov.gg .

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 hse@gov.gg. 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. 
  • 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 2021 [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 hse@gov.gg for details.
    • 5. Scaffold, Street decorations, Temporary structures and Hoarding permit applications  

    • There is a fee to apply for scaffold, street decoration, temporary structure and hoarding permits. pdf icon Fees for licences and permits 2021 [153kb]
    • You must obtain a permit for any of the above erected on or over the public highway or pedestrian walkway, or in a place where the public has access (eg staff / visitors car park on private land).  pdf icon Please follow this link for a scaffold permit application form. [606kb]
    • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will consider the application under the terms of the Public Highways Ordinance, 1967.
    • Permits granted under the terms of the ordinance will often require specific safety features to ensure that the general public are not put at risk.  This includes the erection, dismantling and the intended use of the scaffold, street decoration, temporary structure or hoarding.   Application therefore, must be made in advance of the date anticipated for the building of the scaffold, street decoration, temporary structures or hoarding.
    • It is necessary to obtain the consent of the Traffic and Highways Services or (in the case of the Harbour areas of St Peter Port and St Sampson, of Guernsey Harbours), before scaffold, street decoration, temporary structure or hoarding is erected.
    • Street decoration application form.pdf icon Street decoration application [228kb]
    • Temporary structure application formpdf icon Temporary structure application [228kb]
    • Hoarding permit application form pdf icon Hoarding Application Form [223kb]
    • Scaffold Inspection

    • Scaffolds must be inspected before they are used and confirmed in the initial inspection report or in a handover certificate.
    • Scaffolds must be inspected every 7 days.
    • Scaffolds must be inspected following events which could affect the safety of the structure, e.g. alterations, adverse weather or an earthquake.
    • Inspection reports must be kept in a format which can be reproduced in a printable form and is secure from loss or unauthorised interference.
    • The person carrying out an inspection must prepare a report before the end of the working period within which the inspection is completed and this must be shared with the client / employer within 24 hours.
    • An employer receiving a report must keep it at the site where the inspection was carried out until the construction work is completed and then at his/her office for 3 months.
    • Protection may be removed but only for the time and to the extent necessary to gain access for the performance of a particular task and shall be replaced as soon as practicable. The task must not be performed unless effective compensatory safety measures are in place.
    • Inspection Report

    • The scaffold inspection report should note any defects or matters that could give rise to a risk to health and safety and any corrective actions taken, even when those actions are taken promptly, as this assists with the identification of any recurring problem.
    • All scaffolding inspection should be carried out by a competent person whose combination of knowledge, training and experience is appropriate for the type and complexity of the scaffold. Competence may have been assessed under the CISRS or an individual may have received training in inspecting a specific type of system scaffold from a manufacturer/supplier.
    • A non-scaffolder who has attended a scaffold inspection course (eg a site manager) could be deemed competent to inspect a basic scaffold structure.
    • An inspection report should include the following:
      • The name and position of the person making the report.
      • Details of any further action considered necessary.
      • Details of any action taken as a result of any matter identified.
      • Details of any matter identified that could give rise to a risk to the health or safety of any person.
      • The date and time of the inspection.
      • A description of the scaffold.
      • The location of the inspection.
      • The name and address of the person for whom the inspection was carried out.
    • Example inspection report .pdf icon Scaffold Inspection Report [85kb]
    • Scaff Tags and handover certificate

    • Tagging a scaffold as safe to use is best practice although it is not a legal requirement. Although the opposite is true if a scaffold is incomplete or unsafe to use where you must tag the structure as unsafe. It is also necessary to physically prevent access.
    • Scaffolding handover certificates are not a requirement by law. However, there are significant benefits for both scaffolders and their clients.
    • Completion of the handover certificate ensures the scaffold is fit for purpose and highlights any limits such as the maximum loading.
    • The handover certificate can also be considered the first inspection of the scaffold.
    • Ideally the handover inspection should be conducted by a representative of the scaffolding company with a representative from the contractor/client; after all they will be responsible for the scaffold. It is also acceptable to email the certificate to the client.
    • In the Health and Safety at Work (General) (Guernsey) Ordinance, 1987. General duties of employers and self-employed to persons other than their employees. 2. (1) It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety. Inspection reports and handover certificates can demonstrate scaffold contractors compliance with this duty.

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 hazardouswaste@gov.gg 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. 

Downloads

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 2021-2023 COVID-19 Business Risk Assessment Template Committee for Employment & Social Security - Fair Processing Notice Fees for licences and permits 2021 Scaffold Inspection Report

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