Triennial Review of the Health and Safety Executive. Submission to the Department for Work and Pensions

Tombs, Steve and Whyte, David (2013). Triennial Review of the Health and Safety Executive. Submission to the Department for Work and Pensions. Institute of Employment Rights, Liverpool.

URL: http://www.ier.org.uk/sites/ier.org.uk/files/A%20R...

Abstract

In this response we have chosen not to address the guided questions specifically, but rather to respond to the general coverage of the document, not least that set out at Annex E, “Background to the Health and Safety Executive”, where it is stated that:

HSE’s functions are undertaken in the pursuit of four headline aims that support delivery of its mission. These aims, set out in the HSE’s Business Plan for 2012-15, are to:

 Lead others to improve health and safety in the workplace;
 Provide an effective regulatory framework;
 Secure compliance with the law; and,
 Reduce the likelihood of low frequency, high-impact catastrophic incidents.

(Department for Work & Pensions, 2013: Annex E, 14)

Our response addresses many of the claims made in that Annex regarding enforcement and inspection.

We welcome this review of the HSE since, as the evidence set out in this response demonstrates, it is clear that the regulator is increasingly unfit for purpose. It is presently unable to provide either minimal inspection coverage or a credible threat of enforcement, and is therefore in no position to secure compliance with the law.

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