Dealing with the Health and Safety Executive
Produced in partnership with Philip Ryan of Shoosmiths
Dealing with the Health and Safety Executive

The following Risk & Compliance guidance note Produced in partnership with Philip Ryan of Shoosmiths provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dealing with the Health and Safety Executive
  • What is the Health and Safety Executive?
  • Summary of objectives
  • Is there a system of random compliance checks/visits?
  • What is most likely to attract the HSE’s attention?
  • Dealing with the HSE
  • Common breaches
  • When and how to self-report to the HSE
  • Overlap with any other regulators
  • Any hot topics
  • more

What is the Health and Safety Executive?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the national regulator for work-related health, safety and welfare. It acts in the public interest to prevent and reduce work-related death, injury and ill-health across Great Britain's workplaces.

There are other regulators who are able to prosecute offences relating to health and safety within specific environments, such as the Care Quality Commission, Local Authorities, the Office of Rail and Road and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. The HSE will also work with other regulators in cross over incidents such as environmental disasters, fatal accidents involving suspicions of manslaughter and major fires/explosions.

Summary of objectives

The HSE's overall objectives and priorities are:

  1. leading and engaging those who undertake or influence health and safety—through engagement with stakeholders on priorities, and raising awareness through its campaigns

  2. ensuring the regulatory framework remains effective and helping duty holders understand how to manage risks they create in a proportionate way

  3. securing effective risk management and control through a variety of interventions with businesses, which include:

    1. licensing regimes in higher risk sectors, efficient and effective investigations of incidents and concerns raised by workers and others

    2. holding to account those people who fail to meet their obligations to protect people from harm

  4. reducing the likelihood of low-frequency, high-impact catastrophic incidents