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SYSTEM FOR CHALLENGING H&S INSPECTOR ADVICE GOES LIVE

Advisory panel will examine complaints over incorrect or disproportionate advice 

Government ministers asked HSE for the establishment of a regulatory challenge panel following a recommendation in the Löfstedt report. The panel will examine issues raised by businesses where they believe an HSE or local authority health and safety inspector has given advice that is incorrect or disproportionate.

The panel will be chaired by former Environment Agency regulator, Tricia Henton, and will comprise independent panel members who have the competence and experience to assess advice that has been given on regulatory matters.

Panel has no power to require retraction of advice 

The Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel will only investigate complaints about health and safety which the complainant believes is incorrect or goes beyond what is required to control the risk adequately. 

The panel members are independent and will be competent and experienced to assess advice that has been given on regulatory matters.

The role of the panel role is ‘advisory’ although it is expected that “regulators will respect the independence of the panel and its advice and where appropriate take it onboard”.

Key aspects:

  • cases from 30 June 2011 onwards will be considered;
  • the panel will not examine issues where other independent appeals processes exist e.g enforcement notices or prosecutions;
  • complainants must first try to resolve the matter with the relevant HSE or LA inspector and their manager;
  • complaints will be reviewed thoroughly and the complainant informed of the findings;
  • outcomes will be made available on the HSE website;
  • existing complaints procedures can be used if complainants are not satisfied with the panel outcome. These are: writing to the HSE or Local Authority Chief Executive; involving the relevant MP / Councillor and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman or Local Government Ombudsman

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