Complaints about unsafe and unhealthy work activities

HSENI doesn’t cover all health and safety matters

Before getting in touch, you should check below that we are the right people to contact.

Is HSENI the correct enforcing authority for you?

This page lists the type of workplaces HSENI is responsible for and those where Local Authorities/Councils have responsibility.

HSENI’s responsibilities

HSENI is responsible for enforcing health and safety at workplaces including:

  • factories
  • farms
  • building sites
  • mines
  • schools and colleges
  • fairgrounds
  • gas, electricity and water systems
  • hospitals and nursing homes
  • central and local government premises

Local authorities/councils

You should contact your local authority/council environmental health department if you have a query about the following type of premises. Please see relevant contact details for each council: Local authority/council contact details

  • offices (except government offices)
  • hairdressers/barbers
  • beauticians, nail bars, etc
  • shops/retail premises
  • hotels
  • restaurants
  • leisure premises
  • nurseries and playgroups
  • pubs and clubs
  • museums (privately owned)
  • places of worship
  • sheltered accommodation and care homes

How to make a complaint to HSENI

Please see details of how you can contact HSENI if you have a query about workplace premises in which we enforce health and safety:

Where possible please provide your contact details to allow us to obtain additional information if necessary. Please also provide as much detail as possible in the space provided about the company carrying out the work, the premises where the work is taking place and the specific nature of your complaint

You can also contact us by post at the following address:

83 Ladas Drive

Any information that you give will be treated in confidence, unless we are required to disclose it for legal reasons. Please note that HSENI will not contact you unless further information is required or a return call has been previously agreed.

 Please Note:

Information about complaints

A complaint is a concern, originating from outside HSENI, in relation to a work activity for which HSENI is the enforcing authority, that is sufficiently specific to enable identification of the issue and who has responsibility for the work activity, for example employer or building contractor and/or location, and that either:

  • has caused or has potential to cause significant harm to individuals
  • denies basic employee welfare facilities 
  • appears to constitute a significant breach of law for which HSENI is the enforcing authority

HSENI will investigate every such complaint received unless:

  • it is outside the scope of the Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978
  • the complainant wishes to remain anonymous and will not allow HSENI to disclose that a complaint has been received (*see below)
  • it has been made by an employee and has not been taken up with his/her employer or trade union (**see below)
  • it is from a serial complainant and HSENI decides no further action is required
  • there are no reasonably practicable precautions
  • it is impracticable to investigate

HSENI may also decide not to investigate:

  • where there have been a number of previous complaints against an employer and a significant proportion of those complaints have been found to be spurious
  • where there has been a significant delay between an alleged breach or incident and the time that it is reported to HSENI (in these circumstances HSENI may chose only to assess any ongoing risk)

In exceptional circumstances HSENI may also decide not to investigate where it is faced with inadequate resources or other emerging priorities.

(*) Except where the complainant is an employee who may easily be identified and whose identification may endanger their future employment; a member of the public who is at risk or affected by the work activity; or a person whose property borders the workplace concerned.

(**) Except where the complainant is an employee who may easily be identified and whose identification may endanger their future employment.

Local authorities/councils

Please see contact details for your local authority/council environmental health department if you have a query about premises in which they enforce health and safety:

Local Authority/Council

Email address

Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council

Ards & North Down Borough Council


Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council


Belfast City Council

Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council

Derry City & Strabane District Council

Fermanagh & Omagh District Council

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council

Mid Ulster District Council

Newry, Mourne & Down District Council