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.
How we investigate incidents
This page describes the purpose of investigating an incident and how we are informed when a serious incident occurs.
Enforcement powers and policy
Our inspectors have a number of enforcement powers given to them by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which range from giving advice and information through to prosecution in the courts.
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, 173 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.
Handling RAIB recommendations
This page explains our role in handling recommendations from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).
This page gives an overview of the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority for Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems) Regulations 2006 (as amended) (“EARR”), which clarify ORR’s and the Health and Safety Executive’s respective responsibilities for enforcement of health and safety law in relation to railways, tramways and other guided transport systems.