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Frequently asked questions


We make every effort to ensure that the information provided on this site is accurate and up to date. However, we accept no legal responsibility for errors or omissions.

Please select a question.

Why can't I get the pages to display properly?

We have tried to make all of the features on this site accessible on the majority of browser types but some functionality may be lost on older, more obscure browsers. We recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox v2 and above or Internet Explorer v6 and above. The functionality is also available with Safari and Opera browsers.

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I am unsure about which product I should order. Can I get advice?

See HSE's website for associated products on individual topic/industries.

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How does the search facility work on this site?

If you know the stock code of the product you wish to order (this code will be a 13-digit number for priced products), you should enter the code in the ‘search’ box provided.

Both a ‘Search’ and more ‘Advanced search’ facility are provided to help you identify relevant products by keywords. Type in a word and press ‘Search’ to display items on your chosen topic. The ‘Advanced search’ will allow searches by a combination of keywords. The results of any advanced search will be presented in the order of relevance based on title, subtitle and abstract content.
If you prefer you can browse the products by category

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How up–to–date is the guidance that can be downloaded?

The content of publications on this site which can be downloaded reflect the current printed versions available from HSE Books. HSE tries to keep its printed guidance as up-to-date as possible. However, although some of the information in each publication may not be current the document remains ‘fit for purpose’. The year of publication is clearly indicated on each online document. As each publication is revised, an updated version will be put on the site. Please see our website www.hse.gov.uk or contact HSE Infoline: 0845 345 0055 if you have any queries.

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Are there different ways to order?

Orders can be placed via post, telephone, or fax. Please see the next question for contact details.

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What happens to my order?

This will be processed by a company that has provided distribution services under contract to HSE since the early 1990s. These services are collectively known as HSE Books. We can be contacted as follows:

Telephone: +44 (0)1787 881165
Minicom: +44 (0)1787 310889
Fax: +44 (0)1787 313995
E–mail: hsebooks@prolog.uk.com
Post: HSE Books
PO Box 1999
Suffolk CO10 2WA
If you have a query on your order you can call the help line on +44 (0)1787 884148 between 09.00 - 17.00 (UK time) Monday - Friday.

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What do the ‘copyright’ codes on each stock record mean?

All of the products available to order on this site are governed by rules of copyright. Each product record contains information about its copyright status which dictates how the information in a particular product can be reused. There are 4 types:

  1. All versions of 'Health and Safety Law: what you need to know' poster ( "The Law Poster"), and the "Accident Book" cannot be licenced for reuse by third parties. These records are annotated 'no reuse'
  2. The content of the majority of products featured on this web site can be re-used under Open Government Licensing arrangements which became effective at the end of September 2010.
  3. A small number of DVD products are funded and produced by a consortium of European health and safety bodies including HSE. Copyright of these films rests with the film production company. Information on how these films can be reused is available at www.napofilm.net/en/rights-and-permissions. These records are annotated 'owner rights'
  4. A small range of multimedia products are owned by the Crown and applications to reuse the information in these products should be made in writing to copyright@hse.gsi.gov.uk. These records are annotated 'Contact HSE'

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What happens to the information I provide about myself and/or the organisation I represent?

Details are recorded on a secure server to enable your orders to be processed and for any follow up customer service requirements. HSE may use these details to send you details of its products and services. If you wish to be contacted please tick the relevant opt-in box on the registration page, or contact us at any time.

If you are a resident in Great Britain or Northern Ireland and place an order for personal use as an individual or are self–employed, sole trader or in partnership you have the right under Data Protection legislation to:

  1. have confirmation that data is held about you; and
  2. have access to a copy of the data in an understandable format; and
  3. have any errors corrected
The provisions of Data Protection legislation do not apply to companies or other incorporated bodies or to individuals who place orders as representatives of companies or other bodies. Further information on Data Protection legislation is available on the web site of the Office of the Information Commissioner at www.ico.gov.uk.

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Are there any restrictions on what I can order?

Some restrictions apply to orders for non-priced products. Customers should note that they can usually view the content of each non-priced product via a link on relevant stock records to the main HSE web site. Such records display - Free PDF download available

Subject to availability our distributor will process an order for a single copy of a non-priced publication for delivery to an address within Great Britain and Northern Ireland subject to a maximum of 25 different non-priced publications per order.

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What happens if something I want to order is not available?

Details will be recorded and orders are fulfilled when stocks are available.

Credit/Debit cards will not be debited until goods have been despatched from the warehouse.

The content of products is subject to regular review by HSE authors and our aim is to ensure that all are 'fit for purpose'. Some products may be unavailable for a substantial period of time while consultation and redrafting takes place.

HSE Books reserves the right to cancel, without prior notice, any orders for products which have been unavailable for long periods of time.

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Will I have to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) on the value of my order?

The majority of priced products are currently 'zero rated' for VAT purposes. Electronic products such as DVDs and a small number of posters/forms which require additional information to be recorded by an end user attract VAT at the standard rate.

What credit/debit cards can I use to make an online purchase?

Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and Amex may be used.

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How secure are my payment details?

All online transactions are secure and information sent from your computer to our distributor’s server is encrypted using 256–bit encryption. Our distributor uses Thawte security certificates to verify the security of online transactions. Moreover, card payment systems have been tested and independently verified as being compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.

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Are there any delivery charges?

There are no charges for delivery of orders within Great Britain and Northern Ireland unless urgent delivery is required.

Our distributor offers a next–day delivery service for most mainland locations on orders received before 11.00 am. The cost of this service is £10.00 (inc. VAT)

It is not possible to provide this service to addresses in Northern Ireland, the Scottish Highlands and Islands and the Isle of Wight.

A two-day delivery service for mainland locations is also available at £5.00 (inc. VAT)

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What is the cost of delivering an order to the rest of the European Union (EU)?

£4.00 for the first priced item in each order and £0.40 for each additional priced item in same order. This charge should be added to the value of the order.

£3.00 for the first non-priced item in each order and £0.10 for each additional non-priced item in same order.

For ‘mixed’ orders comprising priced and non-priced items the charges should be calculated as if the order consisted wholly of priced products.

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What countries make up the rest of the EU?

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

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What is the cost of delivering an order to the Rest of the World (RoW)?

£10.00 for the first priced item in every order and £1.00 for each additional item in the same order. This should be added to the value of the order.

£5.00 for the first non-priced item in every order and £0.15 for each additional non-priced item in same order.

For ‘mixed’ orders comprising priced and non-priced items the charges should be calculated as if the order consisted wholly of priced products.

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How long does it normally take orders to be delivered?

Subject to the availability of stock and other pressures at the warehouse, it can take up to 10 working days (Saturdays and Sundays excluded) for orders to be processed and delivered to addresses in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is likely to take longer to deliver to addresses in the EU and RoW.

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What documentation will be sent to me with my order?

An advice note will accompany despatches. This note will provide details of what is sent and what is still outstanding together with, for example the value of the goods recorded on the note and the unique reference allocated to your order.

Some items you have ordered may be unavailable. The delivery note contains two letter codes, with a glossary explaining the reason why the items cannot be sent to you and giving further advice on their status.

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Can I track my current order and view what I have ordered previously?

Yes. However, you need to be ‘registered’ to do so. Registration involves the creation of a log in which comprises your e-mail address along with a password of your choice. This will enable you to track current orders and also look at earlier orders you have placed.

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Can I cancel my order?

Orders can be cancelled if they have not been despatched from the warehouse. To cancel an order please contact us.

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Can I return an order which I have received?

By law, customers in the European Union can return most items within seven working days after the date of delivery. Please note that this arrangement does not apply to products such as DVDs which have been unsealed.

Our distributor will accept returns of products which have been supplied incorrectly or have been received and found to be faulty or damaged.

Customers who wish to cancel a purchase under the Distance Selling Regulations should clearly identify the item which is being returned on the relevant delivery note. The note should be clearly endorsed ‘Contract to purchase cancelled under DS Regulations’. Items to be returned should be packaged securely and returned with the annotated delivery note to The Returns Department, Prolog (HSE/SM102), Caulder House, Sherwood Park, Annesley, Notts, England NG15 0DJ. Customers are responsible for the cost of returning products to our distributor and for ensuring their safe return.

HSE will not be responsible for returned items which are lost in transit and refunds will not be made if delivery to the Returns Department cannot be established.

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Who can I complain to if I have a problem?

Complaints will be investigated.

Complaints relating to specific orders should be dealt with, in the first instance, by our distributor. You should cite the exclusive order number allocated to each order when contacting our distributor.

Details of unresolved problems relating to specific orders or other reasons for dissatisfaction with the service provided can be forwarded to:

The Distribution Manager
Health and Safety Executive
Communications Delivery Service
Redgrave Court
England L20 7HS

E–mail: hsebooks@prolog.co.uk

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