Improvement and Prohibition Notices under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
Produced in partnership with James Purnell, Abigail Cohen and Lia Moses of Henderson Chambers
Improvement and Prohibition Notices under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with James Purnell, Abigail Cohen and Lia Moses of Henderson Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Improvement and Prohibition Notices under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • The main features of Improvement Notices
  • The main features of Prohibition Notices
  • Service of an Improvement or Prohibition Notice
  • Withdrawal and extension of an Improvement or Prohibition Notice
  • The consequences of non-compliance with an Improvement or Prohibition Notice
  • Challenging an Improvement or Prohibition Notice

Enforcement of Part I of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA 1974) is often achieved through the service of statutory Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices. These notices may be served by inspectors appointed under HSWA 1974, s 19(1). This is one of several options open to enforcing authorities (as defined under HSWA 1974, ss 18(7)(a) and 53(1)). Other enforcement options range from informal advice to prosecution. See Practice Note: Powers of health and safety inspectors under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

This Practice Note summarises the main features of Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices, the consequences to which they give rise and how they might be challenged.

The main features of Improvement Notices

Improvement Notices are dealt with under HSWA 1974, s 21. An Improvement Notice requires the recipient to remedy a contravention of the ‘relevant statutory provisions’.

'Relevant statutory provisions' is a term used throughout HSWA 1974 and it is defined under section 53. It comprises:

  1. the provisions set out under HSWA 1974, Pt I itself (eg the duty of every employer to do all that is reasonably practicable to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees under HSWA 1974, s 2(1))

  2. the regulations made under HSWA 1974, s 15 (eg the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015,