Health and Safety
Health and Safety

One of the jobs that we are sometimes called in to assist with is the investigation of licence breaches. This is where a company that is licenced by the council to operate breaks their terms, potentially acting in a way which could be harmful to society.

Some of the more common licence breach situations we may be asked to investigate include the illegal fly tipping of waste by ‘professional’ removals men, or the breach of stores and premises selling alcohol and tobacco to underage customers, or selling alcohol outside of permitted ours.

But there’s another type of breach we sometimes investigate – health and safety breaches.

Health & Safety Explained

Healthy and Safety is an important consideration for almost any business in the UK – in fact, only a handful of self-employed workers don’t need to concern themselves with having a proper health and safety policy in place.

It’s important – primarily for the protection of workers but in some industries, for the protection of customers as well. You might be familiar with Food Hygiene Ratings, which are a type of health and safety rating, but then there are the general policies of businesses to make sure things like wiring is safe, cables and trip hazards are properly managed, and adequate training is provided.

Unfortunately some businesses don’t maintain their policy, or don’t live up to the standards. Worse are those who are aware they are acting in an unsafe way, but who actively try to save money instead of prioritising fixing any issues, in the hope that employees or workers will be fine.

Staff that are concerned may be ignored if they raise their concerns, or worse could be managed out of the business as a way of hushing up the problems, meaning the business can continue to operate in the same way with no improvements, acting dangerously.

How Can We Help?

As is often the case, councils and local authorities are stretched for resources, especially time. They may not have the option to visit businesses on a regular basis to inspect every instance of a potential health and safety violation. Not only that, there may be concerns that unscrupulous business owners can cover their tracks.

So there are three main ways that a private investigator can help.

  1. We can carry out inspections on the authority’s behalf

Usually these would be preliminary inspections, to determine if there is an issue that requires an official from the authority to follow up and formally penalize the business.

  • We can support an official

It may be useful, especially for larger businesses, for officials to be supported by one of our team who can record evidence and interview workers to ensure all necessary information is gathered.

  • We can go undercover

Finding health and safety breaches that business owners are trying to cover up can sometimes only done with an ‘inside man’. This would only be necessary for serious, major issues where evidence could lead to a criminal conviction – otherwise it would be overkill.

If you work for a council or other local authority that carries out health and safety inspections and you’re in need of an extra pair of hands, one that can act professionally and diligently, then give our team a call on 01772 334700.