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An Improvement Notice & Prohibition Notice Explained
Posted by David Cant on August 16, 2010
1 Comment

What’s the difference between an Improvment Notice and a Prohibition Notice?

In order to protect your Company’s interests in the event of being served with a Prohibition or Improvement Notice, by an enforcement agency, it is essential that all supervisory staff understand correctly the measures necessary to comply with such a notice. So below we explain the difference between an improvement notice and a prohibition notice.


Due to the nature of the work carried out in the construction industry, it is likely that many Improvement Notices will be served.  When they are for example, they are likely to be in respect of working at height, welfare, housekeeping, unsafe practices etc.  The principal of the Improvement Notice is to give the recipient time to improve whatever the Health and Safety Executive has criticised, within the time allowed on the Improvement Notice. If the fault cannot be rectified within the allotted time, then the Health and Safety Executive should be approached for an extension before the allotted time has run out, giving a reason why extra time is required.  Otherwise the improvement must be carried out as directed.


Upon receipt of a Prohibition Notice the activity specified in the Notice must be ceased immediately or as otherwise specified and may not be re-started until such time as the contravention’s cited in the Notice have been remedied.  The above Notice will normally be issued to the senior person present and the Notice may be issued in his name and not that of the Company. This means that it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that the correct remedial action is taken. Being served with either an Improvement or Prohibition Notice does not mean that Prosecution will not follow, bearing in mind that the Notice will relate to statutory duties. Failure to comply with either an Improvement or Prohibition Notice is in itself a criminal offence. On receipt of either an Improvement or Prohibition Notice it is vital that the Operations/Project Director, Company Safety Advisor and the responsible Site Manager are informed by telephone immediately. Should you be issued with a Improvement Notice or Prohibition Notice and you need help on how to deal with this situation please get in touch with Veritas Consulting Health and Safety Consultants. here contact us.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour. You can find him on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety Law

One Comment

  1. Brian Agnew
    November 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    still can’t find example of Improvement Notice MSF 1706 / REV 0305.
    Pages 1 & 2

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