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What Is the UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE)?

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on October 9, 2020 at 7:44 AM

We spend a great deal of time focused on occupational health and safety regulation in the U.S. But if you’re one of the many businesses caught in the flow of globalization, chances are you have more than just U.S. safety laws to comply with.

In the U.K., for example, you would have to deal with compliance legislation through the Health and Safety Executive. Here’s what you need to know about the U.K.’s equivalent of OSHA.

What Is the Health and Safety Executive?

Created by the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a national, independent watchdog organization in the United Kingdom. It serves as the U.K.’s national health and safety regulator.

Similar to OSHA, HSE is charged with enacting and enforcing legislation designed to prevent workplace accidents, injuries, illnesses and fatalities. It also provides guidance on how to stay compliant with health and safety law, free resources, and updates on the latest changes in regulation.

It is also responsible for:

  • Carrying out relevant health and safety research
  • Promoting healthier, safer workplace practices by advising business owners and employees
  • Ensuring compliance with all current health and safety laws

The whole idea of HSE is to make health and safety simple for employers and employees alike.

HSE’s Role as a Regulator

HSE is guided by a fundamental principle of health and safety law: that those who create risks are the ones best placed to control those risks. This means that part of HSE’s job, as a regulator, is to ensure that employers take responsibility for the risks they create.

This involves legislation and enforcement through audits and inspections, but it also places HSE in a teaching role. HSE provides essential health and safety guidance to ensure that employers understand the law.

Their guiding influence also ties into their role in raising health and safety awareness in the workplace among employees as well as employers. That way, everyone knows what their responsibilities entail and what they can do to ensure compliance.

In HSE’s own words, they lead the way, but they don’t act alone. Everyone has a part to play, from business owners to trade associations to unions to academics.

It’s all about being more responsible. This begins with spelling out an employer’s responsibility. The best place to start is by turning to HSE’s guidance on their website, which covers an array of safety practices relevant to employers.

Making Sense of Your Compliance Obligations

While the Health and Safety Executive goes a long way in teaching employers about their responsibilities to employees, the fact remains that you are still held accountable for safety incidents on your site. You have to know how to stay compliant and the everyday practices that can help keep you in line.

That’s where we come in. Our compliance software allows you to keep track of all of your safety obligations, no matter what your safety managers are tasked with. Ready to change the way you think about safety? Then let’s talk. Click here to get in touch.

Topics: OSHA, Regulatory Information, Workplace Health and Safety, Compliance, Safety Management

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