With enforcement agencies facing austerity, it is much more likely these days to encounter an inspector in response to a complaint or after serious injuries or dangerous occurrence than having them call unannounced for a routine inspection. That said, an authorised inspector may enter your premises at any reasonable time – essentially at any time during your operating hours – and you should do your utmost to accommodate them.
Should an inspector find fault with your workplace systems or arrangements, they have a wide range of options open to them, from having an informal chat through to prosecution in serious cases. Between these extremes, the inspector may opt to write to you, detailing the issues and how to resolve them or, more formally, they may serve an Improvement or Prohibition Notice.
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