Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
April 27, 2016

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

HSE

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

What does HSE stand for?HSE

The Health and Safety Executive, often referred to as the HSE, is an independent regulator that aims to prevent work-related death, injury and ill-health.

Click here to visit The Health and Safety Executive website.

When was HSE formed?

The foundations of the organisation can be dated back to the 1800’s when the HM Factory Inspectorate, Mines Inspectorate and Quarry Inspectorates were formed.

But it was on 1 January 1975 that the Health and Safety Executive was officially established, led by its first Director General, John Lock.

The organisation came into being the year after the publication of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. (In Northern Ireland, these duties lie with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI).)

What does HSE do?

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.

HSE prosecutions

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

Provisional data shows that a total of 142 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2020/21, an increase of 29 from the previous year, though the number of deaths in 2019/20 (113) was low compared to other recent years.

In statistical terms the number of fatalities has remained broadly level in recent years – the average annual number of workers killed at work over the five years 2016/17-2020/21 is 136.

Over the past 20 years there has been a long-term reduction in the number of workplace fatalities, demonstrating that Great Britain is one of the safest places to work in the world.

The figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) relate to workplace incidents. They do not include deaths arising from occupational exposure to disease, including COVID-19.

Workplace fatality figures by sector in 2020/21

  • Workers falling from height (35).
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle (25), and
  • Being struck by a moving object (17).

Those three causes of death account for more than half of fatalities in 2020/21. Click here for more on annual workplace fatality figures.

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:

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:

  • Promote cooperation;
  • Minimise duplication;
  • 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.

For more information, visit the HSE’s guide on who is the correct enforcing authority.

COMAH

Under the Control of Major Hazards Regulations 2015 (COMAH), it also regulates major hazards by working jointly, as a competent authority, with:

  • Environment Agency.
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
  • National Resources Wales.

Offshore major hazard industries (oil and gas) are regulated jointly by us and the Department for Environment and Climate Change.

It supports the work of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, the Office of Road and Rail Regulation and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

It also works closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and Maritime Coastguard Agency.

A complete list of all the regulators we have formal agreements with is available online.

Where is HSE based?

Headquartered in Bootle, near Liverpool, the HSE headquarters address is: Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle, Merseyside, L20 7HS.

There are also several other offices around the country. To find your nearest office or knowledge – centre see this page on the HSE website.

Reporting incidents to HSE

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).

Safety & Health Podcast

Subscribe and tune in the Safety & Health Podcast to discover the latest issues facing the health and safety profession, and stay on-top of the developments affecting your role, from working at height, lone working and common workplace hazards, to safety culture, behaviours, occupational health and mental health and wellbeing.

Listen as Peter Kelly, Senior Psychologist for the Health and Safety Executive, talks about work-related stress and the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on employee mental health, and a discussion on the upcoming ISO45003 Standard.

Latest HSE articles

Changes to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPER)

The HSE is consulting on changes to the PPER 1992. The consultation launched on 19 July 2021 and will run for four weeks.

Fine after maintenance fitter dies in fall from height

A forging company has been fined after an employee suffered a fatal injury when he fell from height from a mobile tower scaffold.

Croydon tram crash: Passengers accidentally killed, jury concludes

The inquests into deaths of the seven people who were killed in the Croydon tram crash in November 2016 has opened.

Figures show agriculture remains the worst performing industrial sector

HSE has published a report detailing that agriculture has the worst rate of fatal injuries of all the major industrial sectors.

Director prosecuted for failing to comply with Enforcement Notices

A Director has been fined for failing to comply with Enforcement Notices served to protect the health and safety of workers in his workplace.

DWP launches call for evidence into HSE’s approach to asbestos management

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into how the HSE manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.

Buildings material manufacturer fined for health and safety failings

A buildings material manufacturer has been sentenced after a worker was diagnosed with HAVS after repeatedly using vibrating tools above the recommended limits; and a second worker sustained electrical burns in a separate incident.

Tool company fined after employee sustains fatal head injuries

A tool company has been fined after an employee was fatally injured while moving heavy machinery.

Coronavirus advice for employers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that Step 4 of the Roadmap will proceed as planned on Monday 19 July.

Company and director sentenced after workers exposed to asbestos

A wood working company and its director have been fined after the HSE found a series of failings and risks associated with significant quantities of asbestos-containing materials within the premises.

Juice manufacturing company fined after worker loses fingers

A fruit juice manufacturer has been fined after an employee had three fingers of their right hand severed whilst cleaning a screw conveyor.

Utilities company fined after member of the public died following fall into excavation site

A utilities company has been fined after a member of the public suffered fatal injuries after falling into an excavation on a footpath.

Workplace fatality figures released for 2020/21

Provisional data shows that a total of 142 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2020/21, an increase of 29 from the previous year.

Failure to identify vehicle risk resulted in broken leg

A facility services company operating at Winchester prison has been fined following an incident in which a worker suffered a broken leg when he was struck by a forklift truck.

Fine after workers exposed to asbestos

Power Link Machines (UK) Ltd has been sentenced for safety breaches after the HSE was informed the company was using gaskets within its generator sets that contained asbestos.

The role of ventilation in stopping the spread of COVID-19

The HSE has reviewed its ventilation and Air Conditioning guidance, which states that employers must make sure there is an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace.

High school fined after child is fatally injured

A high school in Chelmsford has been fined after a young child died after a locker in a changing room fell on top of him.

Company fined after apprentices suffer chemical burns

Two apprentices were working at Mercedes-Benz of Northampton in Riverside Business Park, cleaning the vehicle ramps in the workshop using a chemical from an unlabelled barrel.

£1.8m fine for British Airways PLC after employee sustained serious crush injuries

British Airways Plc has been fined following a vehicle collision at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport.

Reviewing the HSG248 Asbestos Analyst’s Guide (second edition, 2021)

The HSG248 Asbestos Analyst’s Guide was originally published in 20051, and this revision takes into account the Analyst Inspection Programme carried out by the HSE in 2015.2 A report was subsequently produced, with this review underpinning many of the revised changes and seeking to address the issues that were identified.

G4S sentenced after employee attacked at a youth offender training centre

A private security company has been fined after an employee suffered life-changing injuries when he was assaulted by four individuals at a young offender’s training facility in Milton Keynes.

Offshore oil company fined for hydrocarbon release

Offshore oil company Apache has been sentenced after they failed to provide written safety procedures for the depressurisation of an oil well, which led to the release of more than 1000kg of hydrocarbon gas at their Beryl Alpha production installation in the North Sea.

£1.5m fine for NHS Trust following failures to manage environmental risks

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUFT) has been fined for failing to manage environmental risks within its mental health inpatient wards.

Two care provider companies fined and a manager cautioned after employee stabbed

A care agency that supports people with mental health issues, its manager and a care home have been fined after an employee was stabbed by one of its residents.

Foundry fined after workers exposed to lead dust

A foundry has been sentenced for safety breaches after workers were exposed to harmful lead dust during the repair and refurbishment of church bells.

BAM Nuttall fined after an employee dies after being run over by a dumper truck

Construction company BAM Nuttall Limited has been fined after an employee was run over by a dumper vehicle.

Workplace noise: how much is too much?

Here we take a look at the different ways that workplace noise affects staff, and what you can do about it. 

Manufacturer fined after employee suffers serious burns

A textiles manufacturer has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when he was covered by hot dye and steam.

Work-related violence and aggression: Don’t accept it. Report it. Prevent it.

In this article Helen Beers from the Health and Safety Executive and Sheena Johnson from the Alliance Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester discuss work-related violence and aggression – the importance of staff reporting incidents to their employers, and of employers understanding the problem and taking action to prevent it.

Unregistered gas engineer sentenced after multiple breaches

A self-employed gas engineer has been sentenced after carrying out illegal gas work and breaching a HSE Prohibition Notice.

School fined after worker injured in fall from ladder

Southend High School for Boys Academy Trust has been sentenced after a worker fell from a ladder.

Manufacturer and director sentenced after worker crushed

A decking manufacturer and a company director have been fined after a delivery driver was crushed by a poorly lifted load.

Worker suffered life changing injuries in forklift truck incident

Kepak Group Limited (formally 2 Sisters Red Meat Limited), has been fined after a worker was seriously injured following a workplace transport incident.

Construction firm director fined after 17-year-old worker fell from height

A construction firm Director has been fined for safety breaches after a young worker fell from a mezzanine floor to the ground below.

Engineering firm fined after worker suffered multiple injuries

An engineering company has been sentenced after a 37-year-old worker became entangled and pulled into a CNC lathe.

Company and director sentenced after two workers injured in falls from height

A facilities and construction management company, along with the director, have been fined after unsuitable scaffolding partially collapsed, injuring two workers.

Legionella roles and responsibilities on the railways

Paul Sear, National Technical Manager within SOCOTEC’s Water Hygiene team, explores the role that rail organisations must play with regards to Legionella management and the various responsibilities that this entails.

Two construction companies fined after worker injured during lifting operation

Two construction companies have been fined after a worker was seriously injured when a part of an air conditioning plant fell on him while it was being lowered from a roof.

£787,500 fine after worker suffers loss of thumb and fingers

Food manufacturer, Young’s Seafood Limited, has been fined after a worker was trapped by a mixing machine.

Construction company fined after excavation collapse

Harlands Builders Limited has been fined for safety breaches after a ground worker was trapped having entered a two-metre-deep excavation.

Farming company fined after young worker injured

T Cook & Son (Farmers) Ltd has been sentenced for safety breaches after a 17-year-old worker suffered crush injuries to his foot.

Automotive engineering firm sentenced after employee has allergic reaction at work

An automotive company has been sentenced after an employee developed an allergic form of dermatitis after coming into contact with metalworking fluids.

Building contractor fined after worker seriously injures leg

A building contractor has been fined after a worker’s leg was seriously injured and later amputated above the knee following the collapse of a masonry wall.

Two firms fined after worker seriously injured

Two construction companies have been fined after a worker was seriously injured when a part of an air conditioning plant fell on him while it was being lowered from a roof.

Sole trader sentenced after worker sustains serious injuries in fall from height

A sole trader has been fined after a sub-contractor fell five metres through a sky light onto a concrete floor.

Contractor fined after worker injured during demolition

A contractor has been fined after an employee was hit by falling debris from a wall that was being demolished in an unsafe manner.

Worker sustained serious injures falling through an asbestos roof

A specialist roofing and cladding company has been sentenced after an employee suffered serious injuries when he fell through an asbestos roof whilst undertaking gutter cleaning and roof repairs.

Long working hours: ‘745,000 deaths are the tip of the iceberg’

The World Health Organization has recently drawn attention to research which estimated that 745,000 people died globally in 2016 due to health conditions (such as stroke and heart disease) associated with long working hours. Dr Nick Bell discusses the implications and the likelihood that this is a significant underestimation of the harm caused by long working hours.

Custodial sentence for builder who failed to report incident

A builder has been imprisoned for 24 weeks after he failed to report a serious incident at a construction site where he was in charge.

Working at height breaches increase by 84% on construction sites

The Building Safety Group (BSG) has reported an 84% increase in the number of ‘Working at Height’ breaches occurring on construction sites during the first quarter of 2021.

Plastics manufacturer fined after a worker became entangled in unguarded machinery

Alfaplas Limited has been fined after a worker became unconscious as a result of asphyxiation when his tabard was entangled in the rotating spindle of a print machine.

Ineos fined after major gas leak

Ineos Chemicals Grangemouth Limited has been fined after ethylene, a flammable gas, was released from a cracked pipe at its KF Ethylene Plant.

Construction firm fined after workers exposed to asbestos

A construction company has been fined after workers were exposed to asbestos whilst refurbishing a flat.

Preventing work-related stress in construction

The HSE’s Preventing work-related stress in construction toolkit is aimed at small businesses with a regular workforce.

Construction company fined for failing to comply with Work at Height Regulations

A construction company has been fined after putting employees at significant risk of a fall from height while working on a roof.

Company fined after worker is struck by falling objects

A woodworking firm has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker was struck by objects falling from an articulated trailer.

Asbestos firm fined following fatal gas explosion

An asbestos removal contractor has been fined after a worker was fatally injured and another worker seriously injured in a gas explosion.

When are we allowed to return to the office?

Dr Simon Joyston-Bechal, Director at Turnstone Law, explores the legal boundaries for England, in order to help organisations to stay on the right side of the criminal law.

MOT centre sentenced after worker fatally injured in oil drum explosion

An MOT centre has been sentenced after oil drums supplied by them exploded and killed an agricultural engineer.

Worker hit by five-tonne clamp truck in ‘wholly avoidable incident’

One of the core terminals of Peel Ports London Medway, Port of Sheerness Limited, has been fined following an incident where an employee was seriously injured by a clamp truck.

HSE inspections focus on occupational lung disease

The Health and Safety Executive is inspecting fabricated metal businesses across Great Britain to check that they are managing the respiratory risks of welding fumes and metalworking fluids.

Two construction companies fined after worker seriously injured in excavation collapse

Auberne Homes Limited and groundworks contractor W & E Lammie have been fined after an employee of W & E Lammie was crushed and severely injured during an excavation collapse.

Company and director prosecuted for persistent poor safety standards

A buy to let property developer and company director have been fined for poor health and safety standards on their construction site.

Construction company ‘hadn’t learnt lessons’ from fall incident

A construction company has been fined after HSE inspectors found unsafe working at height practises and other unsafe site operations during a routine inspection.

Garage door installer fined for asbestos safety failings

A garage door installation company has been fined after failing to manage asbestos safely during work on a house.

Company fined after employee hit by forklift truck

A warehouse and storage company has been fined after an employee sustained serious injuries when he was hit by a forklift truck.

£120k fine for manufacturing company after machine incident

A manufacturer has been fined after an employee’s hand was drawn into an unguarded part of a machine, resulting in the surgical amputation of three fingers.

Plumbing supply company and contractor fined after building collapse

A plumbing supply company and its building contractor have been fined after unsafe construction work took place at the company premises.

£200k fine for demolition firm after worker sustained life changing injuries

A demolition company has been fined after the operator of an articulated boom type cherry picker became trapped between the vehicle platform rail and the roof of an industrial shed.

Unregistered gas fitter sentenced for illegal gas work

A self-employed plumber has been sentenced after carrying out illegal and unsafe gas work.

Building contractor and clients fined after ‘cutting costs’ which ‘put people at risk’

The clients and principal contractor of a construction project have been sentenced following numerous serious health and safety failings.

HSE Chair Sarah Newton reflects on the past year

Sarah Newton began her five-year posting as HSE Chair in August 2020. In this blog, she shares her thoughts and observations from time at the helm so far and looks forward to the year ahead.

8 common forklift truck hazards managers should look out for

Forklift training provider Mentor reveals some of the most common areas of bad practice that managers should look out for and promptly stamp out.

HSE updates noise exposure calculator

The HSE’s Noise exposure calculator helps you to estimate and record workers’ exposures to noise and compare them with the exposure action and limit values in the regulations as part of a noise risk assessment.

Tools to prevent, reduce and manage stress in the workplace

HSE says there are six key factors which, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health, lower productivity and increased accident and sickness absence rates and urges employers to review the stress-causing factors in their workplaces and the work that their employees do.

Environmental management services company fined after worker fatally crushed

An environmental management services company has been fined after a worker was fatally injured by a reversing vehicle.

‘Collaboration will be key to implementing cultural change in building safety’ – Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings, outlines his priorities

As part of the Building Safety Bill’s proposals, a new Building Safety Regulator will be developed to oversee the safety and performance of all buildings. IFSEC Global Editor, James Moore, spoke to Peter Baker, the newly appointed Chief Inspector of Buildings at the HSE, who will lead the programme to develop the role.

School fined after member of the public sustains fatal head injury in fall

A school has been fined after a member of public tripped over a retaining wall and sustained a fatal head injury.

Construction company fined for breaching work at height regulations

A construction company has been fined after HSE inspectors found unsafe working at height practises and unsafe crane operations during a routine inspection.

Construction firm sentenced after worker falls from height

A self-employed labourer fell almost four meters through a fragile skylight while working to fit roof sheets to a newly constructed steel framed barn. He spent nearly two weeks in hospital after being knocked unconscious and suffering head and facial injuries.

Work-related stress and the wellbeing of frontline workers

In episode 9 of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Peter Kelly, Senior Psychologist for the HSE about work-related stress and Inspector Phil Spencer, Blue Light Programme Co-ordinator at Cleveland Police, discusses the stress of working on the frontline during the pandemic.

Garage sentenced after mechanic suffers life-changing injuries in a fall

A garage has been fined after an employee suffered life changing injuries when he fell into a vehicle inspection pit.

Working platform failure leads to fines

Two construction companies have been sentenced following an incident were a working platform failed and a bricklayer using the platform was injured.

4 ways your mind plays tricks when investigating an incident

This article considers a typical incident investigation and uses it to illustrate four common biases we are all prone to – and what we can do to overcome bias when investigating a safety incident.

Gas installer prosecuted for illegal gas work

A gas installer has been sentenced after carrying out gas work that was found to be immediately dangerous whilst no longer being gas safe registered.

Fine after employees exposed to chemical spill

The fabrication division of Nasmyth Technologies Limited has been fined after four employees were exposed to hazardous substances that caused significant ill health and time off work.

£99k fine following construction site fatality

Specialist plant hire company, Ruislip Plant Ltd, has been fined after a worker was fatally injured whilst undertaking maintenance on a piling rig.

Drayton Manor death: £1m fine for safety failings which led to schoolgirl death

Drayton Manor theme park has been fined £1m over the death of an 11-year-old schoolgirl who fell from one of its rides and drowned.

Construction company fined after worker suffered multiple burns

Walden Builders Ltd has been sentenced after a worker was struck by a heated sheet of tin.

Mattress manufacturer fined after employee dragged into machine

A mattress manufacturer has been fined after an employee of the company suffered multiple injuries to his arm, shoulder, ribs and neck after he was drawn into a NG-06 Semi-Automatic Mattress Rolling Machine (MRM).

Webinar: Wellbeing by numbers

Catch-up or listen again to this session:

  • Learn how to use data to shape your workplace wellbeing strategy;
  • Hear evidence of the impact that wellbeing has on productivity and bottom line;
  • Get expert advice on the challenges of implementing a data-led wellbeing strategy and how to overcome them;
  • Understand how the changing priorities and pressures of the pandemic have influenced wellbeing programmes;
  • Walk away with a health & wellbeing toolkit that will help you implement and evaluate your wellbeing strategy.

Join Westfield Health CEO, Dave Capper, Professor Jeff Breckon from the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University and Sky Wellbeing Health & Fitness Manager Alistair Hugo, now...

Safety Differently

Related Topics

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Topics: