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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).

Latest HSE articles

‘The end of health and safety gone mad?’ – New eBook launched to highlight the profession’s positive work

“The end of health and safety gone mad?” is a new eBook investigating the way the health and safety community has evolved and adapted to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. It explores growing positive media attention and the work performed by major health and safety associations, and asks how the profession may look going into 2021.

Coronavirus advice for employers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a series of new three-tiered system of COVID-19 Alert Levels, aiming to further simplify and standardise local rules, during a press briefing on Monday 12 October.

Transport company fined after employee fatally crushed

A transport company has been fined after a worker was fatally injured when the pallet of stone tiles which he was attempting to deliver fell onto him.

Hand-arm vibration exposure: On-tool measurements vs. vibration emissions data

Mary Cameron, team leader within SOCOTEC’s Occupational Hygiene team, discusses the role that measured vibration levels and manufacturer’s data plays when assessing HAV exposure and implementing subsequent control measures.

Council fined after teacher assaulted by pupil

Luton Borough Council has been sentenced after a teacher was assaulted by a pupil.

Don’t slip up on safety

Your health and safety priorities may have changed, but the risk of slips is still here, and with cleaning being high on the agenda, it could be un-intentionally increasing the risk of slips on your site.

SHP Awards – applications now open

We’re 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.

Alone and at-risk: How construction companies can protect lone workers

Now that more construction workers are likely to be working alone, employers must ensure that they’re taking additional measures to protect their workers and meet their duty of care obligations – and workers need to be aware of how they can avoid the additional risks lone working can present.

Preventing work-related stress in construction

HSE has launched a ‘Talking Toolkit’, which focuses on work-related stress in construction, put together with consultation from the construction industry.

HSE to crack down on dust

Health and safety inspectors across Great Britain will be targeting construction firms from 5 October to check that their health standards are up to scratch during a month-long inspection initiative.

Fine for manufacturer after serious injuries to worker

Emtelle UK Limited, a manufacturer of plastic tubing and blown fibre tubing for telecoms and water piping, has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries to his left hand when it came into contact with the exposed clamp of a socket machine.

Animal feed company fined after serious injury to employee

An animal feed processing company has been fined following an incident where part of an employee’s arm was severed by a moving conveyor.

Business owner convicted after ignoring notices

A mechanic and landlord based in Kent has been sentenced after refusing to comply with enforcement notices issued by the HSE and Kent Fire and Rescue Service to protect workers and tenants from injury.

Scaffolding company and director fined following ‘avoidable’ fall from height fatality

Wembley Scaffolding Services Limited has been fined following an incident where a worker fell five metres and suffered a fatal head injury. HSE adjudged that no suitable risk assessment was carried out prior to the incident.

Controlling the risk of legionella in water systems during COVID-19

Paul Sear, National Technical Manager for SOCOTEC’s Water Hygiene team, outlines why the current focus on preventing another surge of COVID-19 infections should not compromise the control measures designed to prevent Legionnaires’ disease.

£2m fine after fatal incident at manufacturing site

‘It is not good enough for companies to assume they are doing all they can to control the risk just because there have been no previous incidents,’ says HSE, after a specialist industrial services company worker suffered a fatal injury.

£30,000 fine after two safety breaches in a month

A firm has been fined £30,000 for breaching health and safety legislation after an employee injured his hand, a month after he had escaped unscathed in a similar incident which was not acted upon.

Training firm issues first aid certificate extension reminder

Reminder that the HSE permitted those that hold a first aid certificate that expired on or after Monday 16 March, have until the end of September to requalify.

HSE COVID-secure spot inspections target Bolton and Trafford

Bolton and Trafford are the latest areas the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is specifically targeting with spot inspections to ensure workplaces are COVID-secure.

Is your materials handling equipment still fit for purpose?

Is your materials handling equipment still fit for purpose? Some top tips for improving materials handling safety and efficiency on site.

‘Now is not the time for unnecessary trips to the office’

British Safety Council urges Government not to pressurise employers to get workers back into the office. If people can work from home, they should have the choice to work from home: for the sake of people’s health, wellbeing and the economy.

Worker’s hand amputated in bagel machine

A bakery has been fined after an employee amputated his right hand on a bagel production line.

£120k fine for manufacturer after employee fatally crushed

A manufacturer of adhesive tape has been fined after a worker was fatally injured while operating a rewind slitting machine.

Three construction firms hit with fines totalling £256k after worker dies during demolition project

A trio of construction companies have been fined after a worker suffered fatal injuries while demolishing a two-storey building in preparation for a development project.

£20K fine after worker suffers serious back injury in ‘avoidable’ crush incident

A powder coating company has been fined after a worker in a factory suffered shattered lumbar vertebrae and had to be kept in a lying down position on his back for two weeks in hospital.

Hand-arm vibration: HSE publishes new inspection and enforcement guidance

HAV Inspection and Enforcement Guidance document replaces the Topic Inspection Pack on Hand-arm Vibration.

£200k fine for maritime firm after employee fractures foot

A maritime freight and logistics company has been fined after a worker suffered multiple bone fractures to his foot when a forklift truck was driven over it.

Company fined after worker suffers serious crush injuries

Leeds and Bradford Boiler Co Ltd has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker broke his upper arm and suffered crush injuries to his lower arm in a workplace incident.

Worker sustained significant head injuries in a fall from height

Building firm fined after self-employed subcontractor sustained multiple fractures and a brain injury following 15-foot fall.

Face coverings in the workplace

To get some recommendations on face coverings in the workplace, for employers and employees, SHP spoke to Arco’s Director of QSHE UK and Asia, Neil Hewitt.

Company fined after causing M8 gas leak

John Murphy and Sons Ltd has been sentenced for safety breaches after damaging a 10-inch gas pipeline whilst undertaking work to allow the widening of the M8 motorway.

Tower Hamlets council charged over girl killed by rotting swing

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.

New HSE chair appointed

The Department for Work and Pensions has appointed Sarah Newton as Chair of the Health and Safety Executive Board.

Manufacturer fined after an employee died and another worker seriously injured

A manufacturer has been sentenced for safety breaches following two separate incidents including the death of an employee and series injuries to a second worker. A number of electrical safety failings were also found.

Firm sentenced after employee suffers finger amputations

A paper making company has been fined after a 22-year-old employee had her fingers crushed, leading to the partial amputation of both her middle and index finger on her left hand.

Fine after employee is burnt following explosion

A plumbing and heating company has been fined after an employee suffered serious burns following an explosion at a domestic property.

Costain fined £1.2m after MEWP collapse

Costain has been fined £1.2million after a worker sustained life changing head injuries and a second suffered a leg fracture when their MEWP was struck by a collapsing reinforcement cage during the construction of a road bypass.

HSE urges Blackburn businesses to take five steps to become COVID-secure

The Health and Safety Executive has said it is out and about talking to businesses in Blackburn and the surrounding areas to ensure they are COVID-secure to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Report published into fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Britain

The HSE has issued a report that shows agriculture has the one of the worst rates of worker fatal injury in Great Britain. Last year, 21 people were killed in agriculture, one was a child.

Council fined following fatality after a tree branch struck a moving vehicle

Wirral Borough Council has been fined after a branch from a tree fell and struck the vehicle of a pregnant mother while she was driving, resulting in injuries to the mother and the loss of her prematurely born baby.

Safety breaches lead to fine for automotive firm and occupational health provider

A vehicle sales company and an occupational health & safety consultant have been fined for a breach of HAVS regulations.

Draft Building Safety Bill announced by UK government

Alongside the Fire Safety Bill and fire safety consultation, the Building Safety Bill is said to be bringing the “biggest improvements to building safety in nearly 40 years”. The Draft Bill was announced on 20 July by Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

10-year-old boy dies on construction site

A child has died after reportedly falling into a hole on a building site in Glasgow.

Illegal gas work left home in dangerous state

A self-employed property maintenance contractor has been sentenced after arranging and being in control of gas work that his contractors were not registered or competent to do, leaving it in a dangerous condition.

HSE releases annual report and accounts 2019 to 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) annual report and accounts summarises HSE’s performance during 2019 to 2020, and other developments in the organisation.

Scaffolding company fined after employee suffers severe injuries in scaffold collapse

JR Scaffold Services Ltd has been fined after an employee fell eight metres to the ground and sustained severe injuries when the cantilever section of a scaffold he was erecting collapsed.

Managing Work Related Road Risk as employees return to work post COVID-19 Lockdown

Dr Jim Golby, Director of Research and Customer Experience at Applied Driving Techniques, highlights the opportunities and benefits for Employers as their staff begin to return to work.

Consultant fined for providing ‘incompetent’ health and safety advice

A self-employed independent health and safety consultant has been fined £1,400 for breach of legislation for giving advice to clients, despite not being properly qualified.

Woman dies after London crane collapses

A woman has died, and four people have been injured after a 20m tower crane collapsed onto a row of houses in Bow, London.

Tile manufacturer fined after employee suffered serious injuries

A tile manufacturing firm has been fined £10,000 after a worker suffered three broken bones in his arm and crush injuries to his forearm when he was drawn into the in-running nip of a conveyor tail drum.

HSE urges businesses to make sure they are COVID-secure

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has called for businesses to follow the government’s 5 steps to being COVID-secure as the lockdown eases and more sectors are set to open their doors.

Workplace fatality figures released for 2019/20

The construction sector has had the highest number of workplace fatalities over the last 12 months, with falling from height still recorded as the most common cause of work-related death. The latest HSE figures also highlight the risks to older workers, with 27% of fatal injuries occurring to workers aged over 60.

School fined after a pupil severely injured by band saw

A school has been fined following an incident where a pupil sustained severe cuts to his middle and index finger on his right hand and serious tendon damage, when using a band saw.

Mental health in the workplace

Mental health, the roles of an employer when it comes to looking after the mental health of employees and how to manage mental health in the workplace.

3 steps for returning to work with material handling equipment

Material handling equipment provider Mentor offers some simple steps to getting operators and equipment safely back up and running, as lockdown eases.

Keeping manufacturing facilities running safely during COVID-19

Kirsty Adams, Editor of SHD Logistics Magazine, catches-up with Combilift’s Martin McVicar to discuss safety measures introduced at the manufacturer’s County Monaghan plant due to COVID-19, and the ever-important issues around fork lift safety.

HSE visual guide on home-workers’ workstation set-up

The HSE has published video guidance on how to set up workstations when working from home. It advises workers not

Welding equipment the most common cause of construction hot works fires

A Freedom of Information request to Welsh Fire & Rescue Service, submitted by health and safety training provide CE Safety has uncovered that there were 17 fires caused by hot works in the Welsh construction sector last year.

Employee crush injury leads to fine for construction firm

A construction company has been fined after a worker was seriously injured while erecting a timber frame chalet bungalow.

HSE issues safety alert against using KN95 facemask as PPE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning against the use of KN95 facemasks as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Manufacturing firm fined after worker is fatally crushed

‘This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to provide adequate guarding against dangerous parts of the machine.’

Most recent HSE statistics show limited action against management

When reinforcing the message of safety non-compliance to managers and directors, sometimes the threat of individual prosecution may be the only way to get through. But do the statistics support that position, when the lack of individual prosecutions is considered? A Freedom of Information Act request yields some interesting answers.

£1.2m fine for oil company after workers suffer multiple burns

Oil refinery company, Phillips 66 Ltd was sentenced for safety breaches after two workers suffered life-changing injuries from an uncontrolled release of high pressure and high temperature steam.

£1.1m fine after ladder fall

A London-based relocation and refurbishment company has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when he fell from height.

Lightwater Valley Theme Park: HSE to prosecute after child rollercoaster fall

A seven-year-old boy was taken to hospital after falling from the Twister rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley Theme Park, near Ripon, in North Yorkshire.

Post lockdown reoccupation of properties

Water Hygiene Centre provides some pointers for consideration for when the end of the lockdown is announced and properties that are currently “mothballed” will be brought back into use and reoccupied.

Guiding safety – How are sentencing guidelines determined?

In this article, particularly in view of the difficulty posed in predicting with certainty where, in a range of potential financial penalties, the fine that will be imposed will land, Paul Verrico, Partner at Eversheds Sutherland and Claire Watson, Associate at Eversheds Sutherland, look at the nine steps set out in the Sentencing Guideline and ask what a duty holder can do to prepare for a hearing.

Mentor remains on hand to help businesses meet HSE guidelines for vital MHE training

In line with the HSE’s recent statement that basic lift truck training remains essential during the coronavirus pandemic, Mentor FLT Training is offering a number of materials and courses to help businesses stay safe and compliant during this critical time.

RTITB remote refresher training for forklift operators

RTITB offers theory and driver behaviour training online for materials handling equipment (MHE) operators that need refresher training but are unable to attend a course for reasons associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

Returning to work once COVID-19 lockdown relaxes – What’s expected in health and safety criminal law and how can you avoid prosecution?

Your organisation is looking ahead to stepwise resumption of operations once the COVID-19 lockdown starts to be eased. But what are your health and safety criminal law obligations for the return to work and what do you need to do to stay on the right side of the criminal law?

Health and Safety at Work Day: ‘Let’s make workplaces fit for heroes’, says British Safety Council

The British Safety Council is marking the World Day for Safety and Health at Work with a pledge to support workers’ safety through the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.

Working safely with metalworking fluids

During processes such as machining, grinding and milling, individuals working with metalworking fluids as part of their day-to-day role risk developing a host of respiratory illnesses, which is why it is important for organisations to encourage best working practices and ensure that exposure levels are as low as is reasonably practicable.

Not so good vibrations – Prosecutions for failures to adequately manage the risks from vibration remain a priority for the HSE

Amy Sadro, Principal Associate in Eversheds Sutherland’s Environment, Health and Safety Team and Dr Chris Nelson, a Principal Consultant and specialist

COVID-19: Can employers be prosecuted if employees are exposed?

Amidst all the coronavirus headlines, some commentators have speculated that employers may be about to face prosecution if they don’t take all precautions possible to protect staff and third parties from infection. Paul Verrico, Partner at Eversheds Sutherland, investigates whether that is the case.

Coronavirus: A joint statement from HSE, the TUC and the CBI

A statement has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive, the TUC and the CBI, intended to clarify questions and concerns that many workers, union reps and employers have about safe working – especially for those continuing to work away from home.

Discovering asbestos in post-2000 buildings

When the Asbestos Prohibition (Amendment) Regulations 1999 banned the import, supply and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in the UK, HSE guidelines stated that no asbestos fibrous minerals should be contained within commercial and non-domestic buildings constructed after the year 2000. But what is the recommended course of action when asbestos is discovered within post-2000 buildings?

Manufacturer fined after an agency worker was dragged into a press roller

A manufacturing company has been fined after an employee’s arm was dragged into a press roller.

‘Time’ for health and safety?

It goes without saying that everyone should make time for health and safety. However, thinking about ‘time’ from different perspectives can improve our understanding about health and safety behaviours, and enable us to anticipate and keep pace with changes in the world of work.

HSE issues exemption for the manufacture and supply of biocidal hand sanitiser products in the UK

The HSE has taken steps to support hand sanitiser manufacturers as UK production is increasing to tackle coronavirus.

Guide to lone Working: HSE guidance updated

Working by yourself in a remote location presents a set of challenges both for employers and the lone workers. It is estimated that there are eight million lone workers in the UK which represents about 20% of the UK workforce. On this content hub, SHP brings you the latest lone working guidance.

The Importance of legionella record keeping and monitoring on the railway

You have undertaken your Legionella risk assessment and it is has identified all of the foreseeable risks posed by Legionella in your buildings, carriage wash plant and on board your trains. So, what do you need to do next?

Performing health/medical surveillance: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The HSE has issued guidance for occupational health providers, appointed doctors and employers. In the light of advice from Public Health England on COVID-19, HSE has set out in the guidance, what it describes as a proportionate and flexible approach to enable health/medical surveillance to continue.

Health Board fined after deaths of three patients

Tayside Health Board has been fined following three incidents where patients died by suicide using ligature points.

Statement from HSE regarding PPE and the asbestos industry at the current time

The Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA) has reported that the HSE has received a number of queries concerning the purchase and use of Type 5 coveralls. It has issued a statement as a reminder of existing guidance and advice.

Poor management control puts workers at risk

A Blackburn logistics company has been fined after failing to provide fall protection for workers replacing the roof of its premises.

Company that owns Liverpool docks not guilty of explosives charge

The company which owns Liverpool’s docks has been cleared of not handling explosives properly.

£600,000 fine for yoghurt manufacturer

A yoghurt manufacturing company has been fined £600,000 fine after two employees suffered serious injuries following the release of an acidic cleaning solution.

Suspended prison sentence after gas safety failings

A landlord has been sentenced after failing to maintain gas appliances and failing to have landlord’s gas safety checks undertaken at his rental property.

Fine after worker loses her thumb

A poultry processing company was fined for safety breaches after an agency worker had her thumb severed on a moving part of a processing line.

Surrey metal fabricator fined after girl crushed by steel gate at primary school

A manufacturer of bespoke gates has been fined after an eight-year-old girl was crushed by a steel gate at a London school.

Download: October 2020 Legislation Update

COVID-19 continues to bring unprecedented challenges for people, businesses and societies. To help you navigate the confusing and fast-changing regulations, guidance and legislation – covering not just the coronavirus pandemic, but fire and building safety and the environment – get your free copy of the October 2020 Legislation Update.

    • Latest COVID-19 measures and legislation;
    • Fire safety and post-Grenfell safety regime;
    • Brexit;
    • Environment legislation updates;
    • Latest health and safety fines and prosecutions;
    • And much more...
April 2020 Legislation eBook

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