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

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HSE

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

What does HSE stand for?

HSE-logoThe 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

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

Matt Birtles, HSE’s Principal Ergonomics Consultant, looks at the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Law relating to building safety in England is changing

HSE has continued its work with partners in the public and private sector to develop information that it hopes will form a toolkit for building owners and managers.

Directors fined for unlicensed asbestos removal

The managing director and the director of a printing company, have been fined for safety breaches after organising the removal of asbestos insulation board by untrained personnel.

Coronavirus advice for employers

Boris Johnson has said that Plan B COVID-19 restrictions will end on Thursday 27 January, meaning businesses are to start to prepare to welcome people back into workplaces

Manufacturing company fined after workers exposed to risk

A metals fabrication company has been sentenced for health breaches after several workers were diagnosed with hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Manual handling? Don’t do it until you have risk assessed!

In this webinar, taking place on Wednesday 23 February at 11am, you’ll gain an overview of the issues and impact of manual handling and take away tips to help you get started on a manual handling risk assessment.

Care home company fined after resident choked to death

HC-One Limited has been fined following an incident when a resident choked to death on a jam doughnut.

Construction worker dies after falling from tower

A construction company has been fined after an employee died as a result of falling from a mobile tower.

Companies fined after employee fractures leg at reservoir

A contractor and a water management company have been fined after a worker was injured when he was hit by a 1.5 tonne water valve.

Fraudulent gas installer prosecuted for illegal gas work

A gas installer has been fined after repeatedly carrying out gas work whilst falsely claiming to be gas safe registered.

Manufacturer fined after employee’s arm was pulled into rollers of slitter machine

A manufacturing company has been fined after an employee’s hand became caught between two driven rollers and was pulled into the machine.

10 issues set to affect construction supply chains in 2022

Supply chain risk management expert CHAS, highlights ten issues that will affect construction supply chains in 2022.  

Demolition work must be properly planned and managed to prevent serious injury

The HSE is asking that businesses properly plan, organise, manage, and monitor their work and use competent people to avoid incidents and ill health amongst their workers and the public.

Contractor prosecuted due to partial collapse of building

A building contractor has been prosecuted after carrying out unsafe excavation works, which resulted in the partial collapse of a residential building.

Waste treatment company fined after employee fatality

A hazardous waste treatment company has been fined after an employee died when a forklift truck he was driving overturned and crushed him.

The Impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the interpretation of Health and Safety Statistics 2020/21

A Technical Report has been published by the HSE to coincide with the publication of the annual set of national statistics on health and safety at work.

Printing firm fined after employees injured

A commercial printing company has been sentenced for safety breaches after two employees were injured in separate incidents involving a printing press and a palletising machine.

Livestock market prosecuted for unsafe cattle handling arrangements

A livestock market partnership has been prosecuted after an employee was attacked by a horned bull prior to auction.

Company prosecuted after worker injures hand in lathe

A UK manufacturer of brick products has been fined for safety breaches after a worker’s hand was entangled and wrapped around the rotating shaft on a lathe.

Company and care home owner admit criminal liability after care home resident dies following lift fall

A lift maintenance company has been sentenced and a care home owner cautioned after a resident and care worker plunged four metres to the basement in a faulty lift at a residential care home.

Foundry sentenced after worker suffers life-changing burns

A foundry has been sentenced for safety breaches after an employee suffered life-changing burns following an eruption of molten slag during a slag tipping procedure.

FA, Premier League, EFL & PFA announces joint brain health initiative

The FA, Premier League, EFL and Professional Footballers Association (PFA) announce new joint action plan on understanding brain health.

HSE publishes annual work-related ill-health, injury and enforcement statistics for 2020/21

1.7 million workers suffering from a work-related illness, around half of which were stress, depression or anxiety.

Sawmill fined after worker’s finger is severed in machinery

A sawmill has been fined after a worker injured his finger when his hand came into contact with the moving parts of a machine.

HSE urges designers to prepare for upcoming changes to building safety

The HSE is prompting high-rise building designers to prepare for coming changes when the Building Safety Bill becomes law. 

Director sentenced after apprentice injured in fall from height

The director of an air conditioning company has been sentenced after a worker sustained a broken back when he fell five metres to the ground.

Food manufacturing company fined after worker injures finger in machinery

A food manufacturing company has been fined for safety breaches after a hygiene operative suffered a serious injury when his hand came into contact with a mixer.

Contractor sentenced after asbestos disturbance in public park

A contractor has been awarded 100 hours community service and 10 days Rehabilitation Activity following a conviction of health and safety breaches after labourers disturbed asbestos and worked dangerously at height while refurbishing a disused park toilet block.

Should point of use filters always a temporary control measure?

Daniel Pitcher provides SHP’s readers with an insight into what was discussed in The Healthcare Infection Society’s September webinar.

Construction company in court over inadequate health and safety standards

A national construction company has been fined after an unannounced inspection by HSE inspectors found poor welfare standards, dangerous electrical systems and inadequate health and safety provision on site.

Manufacturing firm guilty of repeated breaches of health and safety law

A company which manufactures perimeter protection products has been fined after repeated breaches of health and safety law over a period of eighteen months, including contravention of an Improvement Notice.

HSE releases guidance on managing home workers’ health and safety 

According to new guidance from the HSE, employers have the same health and safety responsibilities for people working at home as for any other worker.

£60k fine for farm after employee crushed during demolition project

Farming partnership, J & D Foster Farms LLP, has been fined following an incident on its farm where a 21-year-old employee was killed whilst dismantling a redundant piece of farming equipment.

HSE publishes guidance on responding to suicide and grief in the workplace

The document points out that employers have a duty of care to workers and to ensuring their health, safety and welfare.

Director sentenced for failing to comply with HSE enforcement notices

A director of a former car salvage company has been jailed for failing to comply with HSE enforcement notices served to protect the health and safety of workers in his workplace and visitors to the site.

HSE grants legal exemption enabling the use of more environmentally friendly gases in the electricity distribution network

HSE exemption came into effect today on 1 December 2021 and is applicable to any pressure system containing an insulating and interrupting gas and forming an integral part of high voltage (HV) electrical apparatus.

Waste company fined £180k after worker crushed between vehicles

A waste management and skip hire company has been fined after a worker suffered multiple injuries when he was struck by a reversing vehicle.

£80k fine for engineering company after worker severed finger in machinery

An engineering company has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker’s hand became trapped in a stamping machine.

Ideology versus pragmatism in occupational safety and health

Dom Cooper summarises his recent EHS Congress session, where he dissected Safety Differently and behavioural safety.

Employees sustain serious burns in explosion at vehicle servicing centre

A commercial vehicle servicing and repair company has been fined after two workers suffered serious burns when flammable brake cleaning fluid ignited causing a fire.

Musculoskeletal disorders (managing risk and the HSE assessment tools)

In this on-demand webinar, hear from the Health and Safety Executive and partners about musculoskeletal disorders and how you can best manage the risks.

Galvanizing company prosecuted after employee fatally injured

Hereford Galvanizers Limited, a company that undertakes hot dip galvanizing for the corrosion protection of steelwork, has been fined after an employee was fatally injured.

HSE launches ‘Working Minds’ campaign to encourage employers to promote good mental health

Work-related stress and poor mental health is becoming a health and safety crisis for Great Britain’s workplaces, the HSE has warned. 

Construction company fined after injured worker loses sight

A construction company has been fined after an employee was injured at work leading to significant sight loss in his right eye.

Concrete supplier fined after tyre explosion fatality

A concrete supplier has been fined after an agency worker contracted to work at its site suffered fatal injuries following a tyre explosion.

Company fined £130,000 after fatality at quarry

A company has been fined after an employee was struck by an excavator and fatally crushed.

High rise residential buildings: Preliminary serious incident scenarios and potential control measures

A Joint Regulators’ Group, including the HSE, is assisting in the implimentation of a risk framework for the proposed new safety case regime. 

Manufacturing firm prosecuted for failing to control risks to employees using vibrating tools

A company that manufactures and sells medical devices for the healthcare industry has been fined for failing to adequately control the risk to its employees from exposure to vibration when using vibrating tools.

Company fined after employee sustains serious burn injuries

A company has been fined after a worker suffered serious injuries following an explosion at its factory.

Waste management company fined £760,000 after workers suffered multiple fractures

A waste management company has been sentenced for safety breaches after an employee and an agency worker both fell from height.

Scaffolding company MD receives suspended jail sentence and fine for maintenance failings that led to worker death

The Managing Director of a scaffolding company has been fined after an employee died when he was struck from behind by a forklift truck.

Are you manging your work-related road risk?

Annually, 40,000 people will encounter a road traffic collision at work, this makes WRRR a priority in the HSE’s Logistics and Transport Sector Plan.

St John Ambulance warns lives are ‘at risk’ due to lack of office first aiders

St John Ambulance warns lives could be lost at work due to a lack of trained first aiders, as 50% of employees now enjoy flexible working.

Estate management partnership and tenant fined for gas safety breaches

Burghill Farms, a partnership trading as Dalhousie Estates, and Mr Piers Le Cheminant have been fined following an incident where one of the occupants of a holiday cottage was found collapsed in a bathroom heated by a portable cabinet propane gas heater.

Managing fire risk during cladding and insulation removal and replacement on high-rise buildings – guidance for inspectors 

HSE guidance outlines the key fire risks to be managed by duty holders during the removal and replacement of cladding on high-rise buildings. 

7 tips for managing workplace stress

To coincide with International Stress Awareness Week, Alex Minett, Head of Products & Markets at CHAS, offers seven tips for managing workplace stress.

Film set safety – what needs to be done?

Following the recent death of Halyna Hutchins, filmmakers are being urged to re-evaluate their approach to adopting on-set safety guidance.

Manufacturing firm and director in court after worker injures finger in machinery

A handrail manufacturing company has been fined after an employee’s hand was drawn into a roller and crushed.

Pedestrian fatalities prompt HSE safety notice on use of wheeled loading shovels

Britain’s safety regulator has issued a safety notice on the use of wheeled loading shovels, widely used in the waste and recycling sector.

Site supervisor fined after worker suffered serious injuries

A site supervisor has been sentenced for safety breaches after a 46-year-old worker became entangled in a conveyor belt sustaining serious injuries to his hand and arm.

Manufacturing firm fined after employee crushed

A vehicle manufacturing company has been fined after an employee became trapped and suffered crush injuries whilst unloading a chassis from a delivery vehicle.

£130k fine for manufacturer after employee was crushed

A manufacturer has been fined after one of its employees sustained two broken ribs having been crushed within an industrial cooking machine whilst working to clear a blocked water inlet.

‘Work-related suicides should be monitored and regulated’

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we are joined by Sarah Waters to look at a study, published by University of Leeds, which calls on the HSE to monitor, regulate and ultimately prevent workplace suicides.

Regulating occupational health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic 

The HSE has published a document explaining the regulator’s role in keeping employees safe as COVID-19 restrictions are removed. Employers are advised to continue to comply with health and safety at work laws.

Manufacturer fined £200k after labourer suffers injuries in forklift incident

A yacht manufacturer has been sentenced after an employee was injured when his forklift truck overturned.

Nursing home owner pleads guilty to corporate manslaughter 

Aster Healthcare has pleaded guilty after a dementia patient in its care died after being placed in a scalding bath. 

Company fined after employee sustains serious injuries in fall from height

A manufacturer has been sentenced after an employee suffered serious injuries when he fell from height.

£160k fine for scaffolding company after crane operator electrocuted

A company has been fined after a worker was fatally electrocuted whilst operating a lorry mounted crane.

Construction company fined for employee asbestos exposure

A construction firm been fined for safety breaches after employees were exposed to asbestos after removing false ceiling tiles during a shop conversion.

Call to action issued over the need for adequate knee protection in the workplace

ToughBuilt is calling for greater awareness of the need for adequate knee protection to safeguard the nation’s workforce.

Construction trader fined after worker injured

A construction trader has been fined following an incident when a worker suffered serious injuries after falling through a fragile roof light of a grain store.

Wood dust in manufacturing industries causing Occupational Lung Disease (OLD), HSE document finds

Visits are being undertaken to wood working premises to reduce the incidence of serious health effects from exposure to wood dust.

School trust fined after putting children’s health at ‘significant risk’

The Spencer Academies Trust has been fined after failing to control the risk to humans from infectious diseases carried by animals.

How does RIDDOR apply to children in education?

SHP discuss the importance of utilising RIDDOR in school environments to prevent dangerous incidents going un-reported.

£25k fine for engineering firm after employee suffered serious injuries

An engineering company was fined after one of its employees, a blacksmith, sustained life-changing injuries whilst welding an industrial steel fabrication.

‘Work-related suicides should be monitored, regulated and prevented,’ SHP meets Prof Sarah Waters 

SHP speaks to Sarah Waters, Professor of French studies at the University of Leeds, who has recently published a report, with Hilda Palmer from Hazards Campaign, looking into 12 suicide cases that occurred between 2015 and 2020 to discover whether they could be attributed to the workplace. 

Company fined after worker paralysed by fall at Watford Football Stadium

A construction firm has been fined after a worker was paralysed after falling 11 metres down a stairwell at a football stadium when the concrete floor he was working on collapsed.

Manufacturing company fined after worker injured by machinery

A kitchen manufacturing company has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker severely injured a finger in unguarded machinery.

HSE releases annual report and accounts for 2020-2021 

The HSE’s annual report for 2020 to 2021 notes that it has been dealing with the new high risk of the global COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020.

£300,000 fine following leg amputation

A sawmill company has been fined after a worker was crushed by a 1.8 tonne concrete panel.

£70,000 fine after worker loses fingers

A sports nutrition product supplier has been fined after an employee had three fingers of their right hand severed whilst cleaning a screw conveyor.

Construction company fined £570,000 after worker suffered multiple fractures

A construction firm has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker was struck by a falling load from a mechanical excavator.

SHP Awards

The SHP Awards are now live and open for registration for 2021, celebrating the achievements of the brightest and most passionate health, safety and workplace wellbeing professionals; from young, upcoming rising stars to our most influential ambassadors.

Engineering company fined after worker diagnosed with occupational asthma

Lantern Engineering Ltd has been sentenced for health breaches after workers were exposed to metal working fluid (MWF).

Manufacturer fined after worker suffered life changing injuries

UPVC manufacturer Solarframe Limited has been sentenced for safety breaches after a machine operative was crushed under falling materials.

Construction company fined after three contractors fall

A construction company has been fined following an incident where three contractors fell from height suffering serious injuries.

Recycling company fined £200k for poor health and safety management

A waste and recycling company has been fined after HSE inspectors discovered widespread poor management of health and safety risks at a site.

Diving instructor sentenced after trainee dies during dive

A technical diving instructor has been sentenced after he failed to properly assess the competency of two pupils prior to a deep-water dive in Scotland, which ended in a fatality.

£1million fine following fatal explosion

A chemical company has been fined £1million after a man died in an explosion at a site in Norwich.

Company fined after worker crushed at coal face

A mining company has been fined for safety breaches following a fall of ground.

Webinar: Wellbeing by numbers

Catch-up or listen again to this session:

  • Learn how to use data to shape your workplace wellbeing strategy;
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  • 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

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