Journalist, SHP Online

April 5, 2016

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HSE’s funding will be cut £100m over ten years

The HSE’s Business Plan for 2016/17 shows that the funding the executive receives from central government will be over £100 million less in 2019/20 than it was in 2009/10, bringing the total reduction since 2009/10 to 46%. 

The plan, which sets out the HSE’s objectives for the coming year, details the money the HSE receives the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is set to decrease each year throughout the current parliament. In 2019/20, the executive will receive £123.4 million, compared to the £231 million it received in 2009/10.

The report shows that in the current year, 2016/17, the HSE’s budget will be £141 million while income generated will stand at £94 million, including money from fees and licensing, including Fee for Intervention (FFI).

The business plan says: “In responding to this financial challenge, the HSE will seek to maintain current levels of its core regulatory activities including permissioning, inspection, investigation and enforcement.”

One way in which the HSE aims to make a “significant contribution” to government plans to reduce the cost of regulatory compliance by £10 billion by the end of the parliament, is by making simplifications to regulations governing the use of chemicals, namely the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, the Control of Lead at Work Regulations and the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations.

The Business plan also outlines what HSE aims to deliver in 2016/17. It says that HSE is committed to:

  • leading and engaging those who undertake or influencing health and safety. Through guidance, raising awareness and leadership we will seek to change behaviour;
  • ensuring the regulatory framework remains effective and that we are delivering the government’s regulatory reform agenda and Business Improvement Target;
  • securing effective risk management and control through a variety of interventions with businesses. This includes permissioning and licensing activities, inspections, investigations of incidents and concerns raised by workers and others. It also means holding to account those who fail to meet their obligations to protect people from harm; and
  • reducing the likelihood of low-frequency, high-impact catastrophic incidents and the potential for extensive harm to workers and the public.

HSE says its priorities for 2016/17 include work-related ill-health, communications with SMEs, refreshing and publishing its sector strategies and identifying and actively engaging with significant initiatives linking to the themes of ‘Helping Great Britain work well’ that are led by others.

The report also says that a priority for the coming year is developing a revised approach to creating and publishing guidance, ensuring it is proportionate, meets the needs of users and makes best use of digital channels.

The report is available here.

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Dom Cooper

Roll back the money, roll back the number of inspections, roll back the regulations! Mmmm! Perhaps the HSE could tell us how they are going to monitor the effectiveness of their efforts (not just how much money they have made from extra curriculum activities) and report them to the public.

I can see this agency disappearing in the next 20 years or so, as they will be so ineffective that their services are no longer required. Sad days ahead for those striving to improve industrial HSE.

Craig Lydiate

I’m baffled by the real story behind this story. Do we want a regulator that is independent or not?

I can’t see how our current path can sustain the HSE and its core role. I suppose if you want to remove all the “red tape” (hideous term for “let me do what I want, make more money and stop bothering me with people issues”)

And don’t get me started on FFI !

IVAN DAVIES

Reduction in HSE funding is no surprise, that’s why FFI was introduced. From little experience to date have found high cost for little no information provided or just a reference to an ACOP.

Vince Butler

Absolutely classic ‘double-shuffle’ by this Government….
Bring in new sentencing guidelines to give enforcement of H&S and food safety offences real teeth and real bite….
Get rid of the enforcers so no one gets caught anyway…
I’d really like to see where the lobbying money came from to come up with this appalling situation…

Dom Cooper

Great insight Vince. Shame those charged with running the HSE were more concerned with “Gongs” instead of fiercely protecting the Agency

Bob the Builder
It is a sad fact that now HSE inspectors will in fact become more like traffic wardens. They will be told that they have to issue more FFI’s and as a result the construction industry will bear the cost and consequence. FFI’s are a necessity for serious breaches but I feel that more minor instances will be picked up on in an attempt to bring in revenue. The HSE is less about safety now and more about revenue, yes serious offenders should be made to pay and a HSE is a necessity in order to make sure workplaces are safe… Read more »
Edward Handley
It’s not clear from the statement, but the implication seems to be that the Government want the HSE to be self funding. FFI is a major step towards that, and will inevitably destroy the HSE’s relationship with industry. If the HSE have to rely on FFI money inspectors will inevitably be given targets, and will almost certainly get bonuses based on achieving those targets. This will result in them behaving like parking wardens, they will go looking for easy targets rather than tackling serious safety issues. I fear this will destroy the HSE as we know it. I do not… Read more »
Nigel Hammond

Shameful

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