Promoting and enforcing health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for the Economy (DfE).

HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.

HSENI's vision for Northern Ireland

"To achieve world-class performance in workplace health and safety and therefore improve the overall economic and social well being of our community".

HSENI's mission

"To ensure that risks to people's health and safety arising from work activities are effectively controlled."

Five key mission objectives

HSENI will endeavour to realise its vision through its five key objectives:

  • to provide the highest standards of service delivery at the regional level
  • to promote key workplace health and safety messages and themes to targeted sectors and groups
  • to communicate appropriate, timely and practical workplace health and safety information and advice
  • to improve compliance with health and safety standards through inspection and investigation activities
  • to ensure that an effective and up-to-date health and safety at work regulatory framework is maintained

HSENI and local councils

Whilst HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland, it shares this responsibility with the 11 local councils. 

Together, HSENI and the local councils cover all work situations in Northern Ireland that are subject to the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

HSENI's enforcement responsibilities

  • factories
  • building sites
  • farms
  • motor vehicle repairs
  • mines and quarries
  • chemical plants
  • schools and universities
  • leisure and entertainment facilities (owned by local councils)
  • fairgrounds 
  • hospitals and nursing homes
  • fire and police
  • government departments
  • railways
  • any other workplace not listed under local councils

Local councils' enforcement responsibilities

  • offices
  • retail and wholesale shops
  • tyre and exhaust fitters
  • restaurants, take away food shops, mobile snack bars and catering services
  • hotels, guest houses residential homes
  • wholesale and retail warehouses
  • leisure and entertainment facilities (privately owned)
  • exhibitions
  • religious activities
  • undertakers
  • the practice or presentation of the arts, sports, games, entertainment or other cultural or recreational activities
  • therapeutic and beauty services
  • animal care

Contact HSENI

Contact local councils

If you have a query about an area of employment for which local councils are responsible, you should contact the environmental health department of your local council.