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April 27, 2016

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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

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 2019/2020, there were 111 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2019 and March 2020 (a rate of 0.34 deaths per 100,000 workers), the lowest year on record. The data represents a fall of 38 deaths from the previous year, though it is likely that this fall was accentuated by the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economy in the final two months of the year.

Workplace fatality figures by sector in 2019/20

  • Construction: 40 fatal injuries;
  • Agricultural, forestry and fishing: 20 fatal injuries;
  • Waste and recycling: 5 fatal injuries.

Workplace fatality figures by cause in 2019/20

These three causes account for 60% of the workplace fatality figures in 2019/20.

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

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.

Coronavirus advice for employers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown is on track and planned Step 3 easements will go ahead on 17 May.

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).

£500,000 fine after workers were exposed to hand-arm vibration risks

A large Telford-based foundry has been fined after a number of its workers were diagnosed with hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

£250,000 fine after life-changing injuries for employee of construction firm

A construction company has been sentenced after a self-employed ground worker sustained life changing injuries in an incident involving a disc cutter.

‘Government downplaying COVID-19 workplace risk’, report warns

New research from think tank, the Institute of Employment Rights (IER), has found the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace remains significant and is being ‘dangerously downplayed’ by the Government’s ‘light-touch approach’.

Chemical manufacturing company fined £560,000 after employee scalded with boiling water

A chemical manufacturing company, has been fined after an employee was scalded with boiling water during a cleaning operation.

Recycling firm sentenced as employee dies after being trapped in machinery

A waste recycling firm, its director and site manager have been sentenced after an employee died and a second employee was seriously injured when they became trapped inside machinery.

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

‘Ventilation isn’t just for COVID, it’s for all working life, and we’ve got to invest in ventilation in all our workplaces’

Company fined after worker suffered fall from height injuries

Country Style Foods Ltd has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker was impaled upon a set of ‘airline’ style steps.

Waste and recycling company fined for safety failings

A waste and recycling company has been fined after an employee sustained serious injuries to his arm when it became entangled in the automatic roof sheeting mechanism of a visiting articulated truck.

Metal supplier fined after employee suffers multiple fractures

A metal supplier has been fined after an employee suffered multiple fractures to the hand and wrist when he was polishing a metal bar with a manual metalworking lathe.

Contractor sentenced following safety failings during demolition work

A contractor has been sentenced after disturbing asbestos during demolition works and damaging underground cables that resulted in severe disruption to services.

Roofing company fined after worker suffers fatal injuries in fall

The HSE found that the repair work was carried out without appropriate safety precautions in place. The planning and supervision of the work was completely inadequate, which also put a self-employed worker assisting with the repairs at risk.

British Safety Council calls on Government and HSE to strengthen and enforce COVID-Secure workplace rules

Chairman Lawrence Waterman recognises the challenges faced by the Government, but says there are some ‘obvious steps’ that can be taken to help control the virus and protect workers.

HSE launches Health and Safety app for SMEs

The HSE has released a bespoke mobile app, designed to help organisations understand the law, their health and safety rights, and their responsibilities.

Property company fined after employee falls from roof

A property partnership has been fined £4,000 after an employee fell through a roof light.

New Chief Inspector of Buildings appointed to lead Building Safety Regulator

Peter Baker has been appointed to the new Chief Inspector of Buildings role, which will head up the establishment of and lead the new Building Safety Regulator.

Landlord fined following gas concerns at rental property

A landlord has been sentenced for failing to maintain gas appliances at a rental property in accordance with the law.

£80k fine after worker fell to his death through fragile asbestos roof

A roofer was fatally injured when he fell six metres whilst working on a replacement roof at a property.

Company fined after workers injured in forklift truck crash

A manufacturing firm has been fined after two workers were seriously injured in an incident where a forklift truck crashed into an onsite refuse skip.

Construction company and plastering firm fined after employee falls from height

Two companies have been fined after a worker sustained serious injuries by falling approximately three metres through a hole cut into a floor during the refurbishment of a property.

National Grid fined £4m over missing gas network records

National Grid Gas plc has been fined for failing to ensure its records relating to gas risers in some high-rise multi occupancy building were up to date.

Kitchen fitter sentenced after illegally carrying out gas work

An unregistered self-employed kitchen fitter has been sentenced after carrying out illegal gas work.

£200k fine after worker killed by falling lift conveyor

A sawmill company has been fined after a worker was fatally injured when a lift conveyor collapsed on top of him.

Company fined after worker has crushed arm amputated

An engineering company has been fined for safety breaches after a 48-year-old worker suffered a life-threatening injury.

Employer sentenced after worker struck by excavator

A sole trader who operated a construction and demolition waste recycling business has been fined after a worker sustained serious crush injuries when he was struck from behind by a 13.5 tonne excavator.

5 safety risks to map in 2021

DuPont Sustainable Solutions has surveyed organisations across a range of industries in Europe, interviewed safety leaders who successfully navigated the crisis and compiled a country-by-country analysis of the safety outlook. The findings, published in a comprehensive report, identify where organisations’ safety efforts most commonly succeed and where they fail.

Company fined after worker’s hand caught in lathe

An engineering company has been fined after a worker’s hand was caught in a metalworking lathe resulting in serious injuries to his hand and arm.

High school governing body fined after worker falls from roof

The governing body of Christ the King Catholic High School and Sixth Form Centre in Southport has been fined after an employee fell from height whilst performing routine maintenance duties.

Nursing home fined following breaches of bedrail safety

A nursing home has been fined after a resident’s leg was repeatedly trapped in a bed rail.

Roofing supplies firm and director fined after workers fall from height

A roofing supplies firm and its director have been fined after two workers fell from a tower scaffold, sustaining serious injuries.

Construction firm director sentenced after worker seriously injured

The director of a construction company has been sentenced after a sub-contractor suffered serious injuries when a stack of plasterboards fell on him at a construction site in Thames Ditton, Surrey.

Tower Hamlets council fined after death of child in playground

A council has been charged with health and safety breaches over the death of a five-year-old girl in a playground and faces a potential £2 million legal bill.

Nestlé fined after worker traps arm in machine

Nestlé UK Ltd has been sentenced for breaching health and safety regulations after an employee was dragged into a machine on the production line of their Albion Mills site in Halifax.

Sawmill firm sentenced after serious hand injury

A company has been sentenced after a worker was seriously injured when his hand came into contact with a rotating bandsaw blade.

HSE warns of electrical safety dangers in farms when reacting to manslaughter case in Warwickshire

The HSE has warned against the severe dangers of inadequate electrical safety systems in farm buildings  following a recently concluded prosecution at Warwick Crown Court.

Brexit implications for business

The UK has left the European Union. This article provides advice and guidance for businesses on how to comply with REACH Chemical Regulations, advice for businesses wanting to gain or maintain access to the GB market and what businesses need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods placed on the EU market.

Manufacturer fined £100k after worker severs finger

L.S. Starrett Company Limited, a precision tool manufacturer, has been fined after an employee’s index finger was severed and his thumb deeply lacerated in an incident involving a radial arm drilling machine.

Company fined after putting workers at risk of a fall from height

A roofing contractor has been fined after a health and safety inspector came across two workers jet washing a steeply pitched roof on a house without adequate protection.

Müller UK & Ireland prosecuted after agency worker’s fingers amputated

Yoghurt and dessert manufacturer, Müller UK & Ireland, has been prosecuted after an agency worker suffered severe injuries when their fingers were caught in machinery.

Company fined after worker suffers crush injury

Chemical company, Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (UK) Ltd (Reckitt Benckiser Ltd), was fined for safety breaches after a worker had his left arm crushed in a bottle filling machine.

Company fined after machine operator suffered serious leg injury

A titanium supplier has been fined after an employee sustained multiple fractures to his leg whilst operating a metal cutting band saw machine.

Lucilla Cummings wins SHP’s Rising Star UK Award

Travis Perkins PLC SE Improvement Specialist, Lucilla Cummings, has been named as the winner of the SHP Award for Rising Star UK, while Adam Clarke, Occupational Hygiene Technician, Health and Safety Executive was recognised as ‘highly commended’ in this category.

Engineering company sentenced after apprentice narrowly escapes serious injury

A plant hire company has been fined after an apprentice avoided a potentially fatal crush injury from a mobile crane.

Lightwater Valley Theme Park: £333,344 fine after child rollercoaster fall

Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd has been fined £333,344 and ordered to pay costs of £16,183 after a child was left with life-changing head injuries after being thrown from a ride.

Engineering firm sentenced after employee suffers permanent nerve damage

An engineering company has been fined after a worker was diagnosed with hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service accepts Crown Censure after prison officers sustain serious burns in training exercise

Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) has been issued with a Crown Censure by the HSE after nine prison officers suffered burns in a training exercise. An investigation found that HMPPS failed to report the injuries to HSE until four months after the incident.

Plastics manufacturer fined after employee was injured by machinery

A plastics manufacturer, which specialises in the manufacturing of traffic barriers and cones, has been fined after an employee’s finger was severed due to inadequately guarded machinery.

Insulation firm fined after employee suffered serious hand injury

A manufacturer of industrial insulation has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries to his hand while trying to clear a blockage from a machine.

HSE checking businesses in the transport sector are COVID-secure

In the run up to the festive period, the HSE is working with local authorities to inspect businesses in the transport and logistics industry to ensure they are managing the risk of coronavirus.

Waste recycling company fined after employee fatally injured

Enva Scotland Limited has been fined following an incident where a 28-year-old employee, Martin Kane, was fatally injured whilst cleaning a mobile shredder.

Building contractor fined for asbestos failings

A company has been fined for failing to complete the correct asbestos survey at a domestic construction project.

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Safety Differently

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