Our Team will investigate your complaint and the investigation will have two main aims:
Within 5 working days of you making your complaint, we will usually contact you to confirm details of your complaint with you, provide you with an initial assessment of your complaint and give you details of how to keep in touch with us. Dudley Council does not deal with all Health and Safety matters. It may therefore be necessary for us to refer you to another enforcement body such as the Health and Safety Executive. We can also help with contact details so that you can contact them direct.
Please use our Health and Safety Complaint form to make a complaint, giving as much details as possible. An officer is normally available between the office hours of 9am and 5pm and will respond normally within 5 working days, unless the matter is particularly serious, whereby the response should be as soon as possible.
When we contact you we may ask for additional information. We will need to know:
the name and address of the workplace or activity you are concerned about
whether the risk is happening now and if not, when and where it occurred
how long it is/has been going on for
how often it happens
who is at risk
what further details and descriptions you have of your concerns
As your complaint could lead to prosecution(s), we may ask you and other witnesses to provide statements.
We will not always visit the premises you have complained about. After speaking to you and making an initial assessment we may decide to phone the premises and ask them to rectify the matter you are complaining about. If we feel it is necessary we will visit the premises you are complaining about to attempt to witness the matter being complained about. If we judge that health and safety legislation is being breached, we will ensure the issue is rectified. If we visit the premises and judge that all relevant health and safety legislation is being complied with, we can not legally require any improvements at the premises. We may be able to make suggestions for improvement but these are not enforceable.
The time taken to investigate a complaint will vary, ranging from a few days to many months. Cases that result in a enforcement action, other than a letter or verbal advice, can take over a year to complete.
The main aim of any complaint investigation is to make sure that unsafe conditions are made safe. The complaint investigation will also establish whether any health and safety offence has been committed.
If we have sufficient evidence to prove that an offence has been committed, we may consider enforcement action to rectify the concerns.
You will be told about the outcome of the investigation and the investigating officer will explain to you the reasons behind the final decision in your case.
There are a lot of legal protection available under UK law (see www.worksmart.org.uk and the Online Government information webpages for more information). Any complaint received by the Council will be dealt with sensitively and we will keep your identity confidential. Sometimes a business may want to apologise to you, in these cases we will only reveal your identity if you give your consent.
The Council's team cannot give you advice about your right to compensation. You would need to take independent legal advice regarding this. The Citizens Advice Bureau can provide further information regarding your legal rights.
There are many resources about health and safety available to you:
The charity Public Concern at Work offer free confidential advice
Your workplace union representative (If you want to join a union, try the union finder on the worksmart website)