Raise a Complaint Outside of PIPA

PIPA can only investigate concerns which relate to PIPA inspectors, PIPA office or PLG members, or PIPA tagged inflatable devices. For other concerns, please read the page below:

Who is responsible?

The enforcing body for the health and safety for members of the public are local Environmental Health Officers (EHOs). They hold the legal powers to enforce the statutory health & safety acts, and can issue enforcement notices such as 'prohibition notices'. These enable the officers to stop certain activities which pose a present and current safety issue to members of the public. 

Part of their work is ensuring companies work in accordance with health & safety law and do not routinely and unnecessarily expose people to risk. 

What about the Health & Safety Executive?

HSE works alongside EHOs to support and investigate concerns. However, HSE do not generally become directly involved until there is a high-level complaint or concern, such as incidents which are reportable under the "Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations" or RIDDOR. 

HSE also set the strategy and direction of the activities local authorities should concentrate for the upcoming year. 

What should I consider reporting?

Evidence of dangerous set ups which pose a current or regular health and safety threat to members of the public. 

For local authorities to be able to presecute or take legal action, there must be sufficient evidence. This means you must provide material which holds more weight than "word of mouth", as the local authority or EHO may require to depend upon it in court. 

Evidence needs to be clear accounts or statements, date and time stamped, with supporting video or photo evidence. It needs to be credible, realistic, and obtainable. 

Due to the legal process involved with investigating health & safety matters, the local authority may only act upon evidence which is clear and apparent. This is due to the limited resource and capacity they have, and put simply they cannot investigate everything. They will concentrate efforts where they can clearly have the power to take action. Otherwise they run the risk of chasing their tails in complaints where no further action will be taken.

In most cases, the local authority will focus efforts where the activities take place on public land as EHOs have the ability to freely visit, and the activity has an increased exposure of risk due to the greater volumes of people.

I am aware of a company who has poor practices

For the EHOs and local authorities to be able to take action, there must be:

  • A present and current health and safety issue
  • Evidence of regular incidents or occurrences which demonstrate regular exposure to risk
  • Evidence of an accident, or numerous accidents

Without sufficient evidence, which is permissible in the court of law, the local authority may not be able to take action.

If you are aware of a company who:

  • Routinely installs / set up inflatables in an unsafe manner
  • Uses equipment which has not been subject to an annual inspection by a competent person
  • Have had an accident on their equipment, which is likely to occur due to an unsafe operation or set up

And you have the evidence which is listed above, then you are in a good position for the concern to be reported to the local authority. 

How do I report concerns to a local authority?

Step 1:
Gather the evidence. Ensure it meets the requirements laid out above.

Step 2:
Find out where to report it. Usually the easier method to do that is to search online using the local authority's name, followed by "health and safety complaint" or "environmental health concern".

You will need to look at how the authority lays out its priorities on their website as sometimes they are two of the same thing, or one department looks at the issue over the other.

Step 3:
Complete the report form. Ensure you provide the evidence gathered, and present it in a way which clearly highlights the risks involved and the exposure of the risks to the public. ALSO highlight how the concen falls under "LAC67" under "Inflatable Amusement Devices" which is the HSE's strategic document directing how local authorities should target their resources.