The Role of the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive in Regulating Workplace Health and Safety
HC 246-I, Third Report of Session 2007-08 – Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons – Work and Pensions Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the two agencies responsible for health and safety in Great Britain. They are to be merged and moved to a single headquarters in Bootle, Merseyside. The merger is a sensible proposal but the move could lead to a huge loss of experienced HSE staff who are unwilling to relocate.
The original legislative framework governing workplace health and safety is proportionate but employers can be over-cautious in their interpretation of its provisions, increasing the compliance burden on themselves. Over-zealous health and safety 'consultants' contribute to this problem and the report calls for a system of accreditation of consultants and advisers.
Other conclusions and recommendations include:
HSE aims to meet a 60:40 ratio of proactive and reactive work, yet businesses are only likely to have an HSE inspection just once every 14.5 years and accident investigations are being scaled back.
Current levels of fines for health and safety offences are too low and do not provide a sufficient deterrent to ensure duty holders comply with their obligations.
The increase in the number of fatalities in the construction industry, the offshore oil industry's failure to meet its major hazard sub targets, and health and safety risks to migrant workers are key areas of concern for HSE.
HSE is struggling to cope with its occupational health remit. It admits to basing its occupational health policy on an incomplete data source and is failing to meet its occupational ill health targets.
HSE needs to concentrate on its core remit and measures to extend its responsibilities into other areas places an excessive strain on its resources and risks diverting its focus.
The accompanying 'The Role of the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive in Regulating Workplace Health and Safety – Voume II: Oral and Written Evidence (HC 246-II)' (ISBN 9780215514622) is available to buy separately, see below.
|Format||Paperback||Published||21 Apr 2008|
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