The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the national regulator for health and safety in the workplace in Britain.  As a regulator, the HSE aim to prevent workplace injury, ill health or death. They achieve this by working with duty holders (such as employers) to help them understand the risks they may create and how to manage them. The HSE do this by:

  • Providing information, advice and guidance.
  • Raising awareness in workplaces by engaging and influencing.
  • Operating licensing and permissioning activities in major hazard industries.
  • Carrying out targeted investigations and inspections.
  • Taking enforcement action to hold those who break the law to account and to prevent harm.

The HSE’s Advice And Guidance

As aforementioned, the HSE provide target advice, guidance and information to help duty holders comply with health and safety laws in a proportionate and sensible way. They do this by using several methods, including:

  • Guidance that is either industry (such as construction) or topic-based (such as guidance on manual handling in the workplace), explaining the risks and practical controls.
  • Publications on how to comply with the law. This includes the Approved Codes of Practice that show how compliance can be achieved.
  • Web-based tools, self-assessment aids, videos and case studies on how people have tackled risks within their workplace successfully.

Inspections By The HSE

Additionally, as mentioned above, the HSE can carry out inspections of workplaces to help ensure that health and safety risks are being effectively managed.

They inspect and target duty holders in sectors that have the most serious risks, and where they have intelligence and information that health and safety is a serious concern due to reasons such as:

  • Concerns raised by workers, the public or others.
  • Previous performance.
  • Reports of diseases, injuries and dangerous occurrences.
  • Incident investigations.

When the HSE carry out investigations, they do the following:

  • Speak to relevant people, such as supervisors, managers, employee representatives and workers.
  • If necessary, assess relevant documents.
  • Observe a sample of workplace conditions, activities and practices.
  • Identify any breaches of the law.
  • Check if the risk controls in place are effective.
  • Consider enforcement that is appropriate.

Reporting Accidents At Work To The HSE

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), certain workplace injuries, work-related diseases and near misses must be reported to the HSE. Only ‘responsible persons‘ should submit reports under RIDDOR. This includes employers, those in control of work premises and the self-employed.

The types of incidents that those responsible persons need to keep records of and report include:

  • Workplace accidents that result in death.
  • Workplace accidents that cause serious injuries.
  • Certain industrial diseases that have been diagnosed.
  • Certain incidents that have the potential to cause harm, otherwise known as dangerous occurrences.

Following a report, the HSE may conduct an investigation.

To find out how an investigation report from the Health and Safety Executive could be used as evidence when making an accident at work claim, you can contact our advisors. They could also inform you whether you may have an eligible claim.