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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
May 17, 2022

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Robens report

Robens report has ‘stood the test of time’ says HSE Director of Regulation

The Robens report, which paved the way for the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act, has “stood the test of time”, according to Philip White.

Philip WhiteSpeaking today (17 May) at Safety and Health Expo in London, the HSE’s Director of Regulation said it was a “very exciting time” for the agency, which is preparing for the publication of a new strategy next week.

He added the business plan for the coming work year will also be published next week, as well.

“It’s also been 50 years since Lord Robens published his seminal report,” he told delegates.

“We’ve seen massive changes over the last 50 years, but Robens has stood the test of time in terms of what it set out to do. And while some risks are being controlled, others still remain. Risk has become much more complex, with a much faster rate of change than Robens ever envisaged.”

Grown considerably

He added the HSE has grown considerably over the last 50 years, which means there has been a “constant change and evolution of our approach”.

“The amount of commitment and investment in health and safety on a day-to-day basis across Great Britain has never been higher,” he told Safety and Health Expo.

“The HSE might not necessarily be the size it once was, but a lot of industry sectors have taken on ownership and leadership of health and safety, which can only be positive.”

He said the forthcoming strategy will help the HSE tackling both new and traditional risk areas “at the right time and in the right way”.

“And each year’s business plan will set out how we intend to deliver that strategy on a year-by-year basis.”

Mr White added the HSE was still able to carry out spot-checks over the pandemic, with 400,000 checks in workplaces, which “really extended our reach”

“We found 22,000 concerns and 750 outbreaks while we were supporting local public health bodies. We took action in nearly 17,000 workplaces.

“We’ve learned a lot about working with other stakeholders, which we are going to take forward in our new strategy.”

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