Health and safety investigation and enforcement powers
Notice: letter about new ORR's inspectors health and safety warrants . PDF, 646 Kb
As well as giving advice to the industry, we also have a range of formal enforcement powers given to us under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. These are:
- improvement notices;
- prohibition notices;
- prosecution; and
- formal caution.
Sections 21 and 22 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 describes the powers of inspectors to serve improvement and prohibition enforcement notices. Section 33 describes the offences under the Act. These powers relates to all enforcing authorities of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority For Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems) Regulations 2006 (EARR) set out the enforcement responsibilities of ORR. EARR was amended in 2008 to improve clarity in the division of enforcement responsibility. Activities or premises not allocated to ORR for enforcement under EARR Activities are subject to enforcement by either the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) or Local Authorities according to the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998 (EA98).
Our health and safety enforcement policy statement is an important document explaining how we will enforce health and safety law. In order to provide a framework which assists inspectors in making consistent enforcement decisions, we have adopted the PDF, 143 KbHSE's Enforcement Management Model. This model sets out a number of factors to be considered when deciding whether to take enforcement action and what level of enforcement action should be taken. Rail guidance document 2003-04 explains how our inspectors should use the model. We have also published PDF, 33 KbORR specific guidance setting out additional instructions for using the EMM in the railway context. PDF, 965 Kb
This section provides details of the sanctions presently available to the courts in respect of health and safety prosecutions. It has been updated to reflect the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008.
Enforcement action taken
This section gives details of those in the rail industry to whom we have issued improvement or prohibition notices, and those we have prosecuted since 2006, subject to the requirements of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, as amended.Copies of improvement and prohibition notices can be found on our public register.