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The organisation acts in the public interest to reduce work-related death and serious injury across Great Britain’s workplaces. It is not the sole regulator, as in many cases local authorities are responsible for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974.
Since 2014 when the Care Act came into force, the Care Quality Commission has been responsible for undertaking some of the investigatory/regulatory work currently been undertaken by the HSE or the local authorities, when an incident causing harm, injury or death occurs to a person who is receiving care and support.
Commentary from HSE officials is often featured in SHP from its in-court stories, where the regulator is responsible for bringing prosecutions against individuals and companies.
For the latest HSE news stories, including prosecutions, follow SHP’s In Court page here and see a summary of the most recent news stories below.
HSE facts and figures
The HSE produces a number of regular reports and surveys, which contain important statistics and information for the health and safety professional.
According to the HSE’s Annual Report 2017/2018, there were 137 fatal injuries to workers in 2016/17, as well as 1.3 million work-related ill health cases.
It also recorded that there were 0.6 million non-fatal injuries to workers in 2016/17 and 31.2 million working days lost to work-related ill health and non-fatal injuries in the same time period.
HSE regulatory functions versus local authorities
As a regulator, the HSE’s aim is to prevent workplace death, injury or ill health, through using a variety of methods to influence change and help people manage risks at work. These include:
Taking enforcement action to prevent harm and hold those who break the law to account.
They claim to work collaboratively with other regulators, agencies and government departments to ensure the most appropriate organisation intervenes. They do this by setting arrangements, where laws overlap, to:
Coordinate on joint regulatory activities;
Share information and intelligence.
They will not intervene if another regulator has specific responsibility for that area.
Local authorities are responsible for regulating health and safety in lower-risk workplaces, such as offices, shops and warehouses.
All incidents can be reported using an online form, but a telephone service remains for reporting fatal and major injuries only – call the HSE Incident Contact Centre on 0345 300 9923 (opening hours Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5 pm).
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