UK’s Health & Safety Executive Focuses on Engagement, Risk Management for 2018/19

As 2018 enters the final straight and we gallop into 2019, it seems it is only natural that we take a few moments to consider plans and preparations for the coming year. Regulatory agencies like the UK’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are planning for the coming year as well.

In particular, some industries should pay close attention as the HSE lays out where some inspections will be targeted (see below and Pages 8 & 9 of the report).

HSE’s Business Case for 2018/19 

Planning is as important for the regulator as it is for our own organizations. A particularly good source for a birds’ eye view on the priorities the HSE in the UK has identified and prioritized is the regulator’s business case for 2018/19.

The business case outlines the action that will deliver on its unwavering mission statement:

“At the Health and Safety Executive, we believe everyone has the right to come home safe and well from their job. That’s why our mission is to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health.” 

The main priorities for 2018/19 are highlighted by the HSE’s Chief Executive Richard Judge and Chair Martin Temple in the introduction. Here they describe the key, high-level priorities to set the scene for the business case:

  • Leading and engaging those who undertake or influence health and safety, for example through our engagement with stakeholders on priorities like health at work or through our award-winning campaigns;
  • Ensuring the regulatory framework remains effective, bringing a greater focus on supporting small firms and helping duty holders understand how to manage the risks they create in a proportionate way;
  • Securing effective management and control of work-related risks through a range of proportionate approaches including face-to-face contact, licensing regimes in certain higher-risk sectors, dealing with reported concerns efficiently and effectively, and holding people to account by enforcing the law in a firm but fair way;
  • Reducing the likelihood of low-frequency, high-impact catastrophic hazards. We will continue to promote leadership throughout the higher-hazard industries and projects, as well as dealing with emerging risks such as cybersecurity.

The HSE anticipates it will spend £5 million less of taxpayer’s money than for the 2016/17 cycle with a budget of £228 million total expenditure. A consistent budget YoY, just less sourced from the taxpayer (see Autumn statement section).

Of note in the HSE 2018/19 business case is the inspection focus on health and specific, high-risk issues and activities. The document states that “As part of a targeted programme, we will deliver five major inspection campaigns, each with at least 500 inspections and amplified by communications,” in the following sectors:

  • Metal fabrication
  • Agriculture
  • Waste and recycling
  • Food manufacturing
  • Construction refurbishment (one national, two London-specific), and one national construction health risk

The business case for 2018/19 from the HSE is available for download here: 

For more on establishing effective safety practices, watch our on-demand webinar, Top Management: Demonstrating your Commitment to Safety.



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About Rob Harrison

Rob Harrison leads the Intelex EHSQ content team and guides the overall EHSQ content strategy for the EHSQ Alliance. His focus is providing Intelex's market leading platform and the EHSQ Alliance with relevant, trusted and actionable content. He has 17 years of experience in designing, building, implementing, supporting and marketing enterprise Environmental, Health & Safety, and Quality management system software.

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