FOIA Section 38 Exemption

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Section 38: Health And Safety

Section 38 applies to information whose disclosure would be likely to endanger the physical or mental health or the safety of any individual.

Key points:

  • The individual concerned does not have to be identifiable: section 36 can apply where there is a group or class of persons, any or all of whom are likely to have their health or safety endangered by disclosure;
  • Section 38 is subject to a public interest balance.

Official Guidance

What the law says

38 Health and safety

(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to—
(a) endanger the physical or mental health of any individual, or
(b) endanger the safety of any individual.
(2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, have either of the effects mentioned in subsection (1).

ICO Lines To Take

Relevant Lines to Take
  • LTT180 - The endangerment test under s38 - 26/08/2010
  • LTT13 - Prejudice test - 05/01/2009


Decision Notices

Many of the ICO and Information Tribunal decision notices relating to this exemption are related to Speed Camera sites and prosecution data. Annual figures can be provided, but not for specific sites.



Complaints upheld / partly upheld (P) Complaints not upheld
  • FS50243486 - Home Office - 24/02/2010
  • FS50231561 - Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service - 15/02/2010
  • FS50154684 - Department for Culture, Media and Sport - 15/12/2009
  • FS50173181 - Youth Justice Board for England and Wales - 10/12/2009
  • FS50227776 - Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service - 07/12/2009
  • FS50207235 - House of Commons - 24/11/2009
  • FS50196750 - Olympic Delivery Authority - 22/09/2009
  • FS50222048 - Chief Constable of Essex Police - 08/09/2009
  • FS50191587 - Devon and Cornwall Constabulary - 25/08/2009
  • FS50156552(P) - Thames Valley Police - 20/08/2009
  • FS50161805 - Ministry of Justice - 28/07/2009
  • FS50178268 - Ministry of Justice - 28/07/2009
  • FS50203810(P) - Magherafelt District Council - 19/05/2009
  • FS50145357 - Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary - 12/05/2009
  • FS50154349 - Metropolitan Police Service - 20/04/2009
  • FS50121803(P) - Ministry of Justice - 14/04/2009
  • FS50160905 - University College London - 31/03/2009
  • FS50160909 - Manchester University - 31/03/2009
  • FS50160902(P) - University of Oxford - 31/03/2009
  • FS50139215 - Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service - 31/03/2009
  • FS50160903 - University of Cambridge - 31/03/2009
  • FS50160904 - King's College London - 31/03/2009
  • FS50073464(P) - South Yorkshire Police - 16/03/2009
  • FS50123912 - Northumbria Police - 20/01/2009
  • FS50149374 - Department of Health - 22/12/2008
  • FS50149375 - Department of Health - 22/12/2008
  • FS50149373 - Department of Health - 22/12/2008
  • FS50133140 - BBC - 11/12/2008
  • FS50106800 - Metropolitan Police Service - 20/08/2008
  • FS50129974 - Hampshire Constabulary - 13/08/2008
  • FS50169012 - Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary - 17/07/2008
  • FS50084359 - Plymouth Primary Care Trust - 05/06/2008
  • FS50140492 - Home Office - 04/04/2008
  • FS50099223 - Ministry of Defence - 21/01/2008
  • FS50108125 - Home Office - 04/07/2007
  • FS50117048 - Chief Officer South Yorkshire Police - 22/02/2007
  • FS50066606 - Braintree District Council - 03/01/2007
  • FS50073128 - House of Commons - 04/09/2006
  • FS50065043(P) - Metropolitan Ambulance Service - 31/05/2006
  • FS50069091 - Sussex Police - 26/05/2006
  • FS50073980 - Ministry of Defence - 19/04/2006

Includes DNs up to: 26 April 2010



Freedom of Information Act 2000
Exemptions
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