When an Inspector Calls

Top tips for a successful inspection


As a previous EHO, Louise Hosking provides top tips when facing a visit from a health and safety inspector. This months PfM issue carries a special feature on  health and safety – and in particular external audits. Coverage appears in PfM magazine – April 2015 issue, page 19.




Top Tips from Louise:

  • Request questions and scope of the visit in advance. Make sure the correct people are available and prepared.
  • Walk your site before they arrive. Check housekeeping standards are high, there are no glaring issues such as trip hazards, over flowing bins, propped fire doors, or fresh food left out in kitchens.
  • Have a meeting when the inspector arrives to plan out their visit.
  • Have keys available to access all relevant areas.
  • Switch off your phone, do not appear distracted, and always accompany them.
  • Make sure log books are up to date, monitoring checks have been completed, and documentation is current.
  • Fire log books should contain everything the fire officer requires – they will not be impressed if you appear not to know where training certificates or other documentation is located.
  • Ensure waste transfer notes are available either electronically or in hard copy.
  • Don’t feel you have to print everything out. So long as information is accessible, and you know your way around it, this will be fine.
  • Make notes even if the visit appears friendly and informal.
  • Have a meeting at the end to agree timescales for action and what you can expect as follow up. If there is an indication that a notice could be served, let your line manager know.
  • Finally, follow any company policy on replying to letters or notices so relevant managers within your organisation are aware and can respond.


Be friendly, but professional, and remember chocolate biscuits always help make a good impression!