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HSE: International Leader in Health and Safety

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HSE works with partners across the world to transfer knowledge and share expertise to improve health and safety performance, save lives and reduce injuries.

We work with:

  • governments
  • other regulators
  • international organisations

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the government regulator for occupational health and safety in Great Britain and a world leader in reducing and regulating the risks to health and safety arising from work activity.

The foundation of the current health and safety system in Great Britain was established by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 with one simple principle: that those who create risk are best placed to control that risk.

The success of the system has led to Great Britain having one of the best combined health and safety records in the world, with many countries choosing to use the GB model as a basis for their own framework.

The GB model is underpinned by a unique combination of regulation, policy and science.

The role of science and evidence

Since its creation in 1974, HSE has undertaken scientific research, testing, monitoring and accident investigations to create evidence that underpins its regulatory activities of setting policy, inspecting workplaces and enforcing the law.

This scientific activity has been undertaken by HSE's own scientists using facilities at the Science and Research Centre (SRC), located in Buxton, Derbyshire. More about us

Our heritage

The Science and Research Centre (previously known as the Health and Safety Laboratory, HSL) was created in 1974 by amalgamating a number of pre-existing science establishments, some of which had themselves been in existence since 1911.

The body of knowledge, expertise and capability at the Centre therefore represents over 100 years of continuous work to understand how accidents happen in workplace settings and how to make those workplaces safer for all.

Working with others

Not only does the science and research we perform support HSE in its role as an evidence-based, world-class regulator, we turn our combination of scientific expertise, real-world experience and knowledge of the regulatory landscape into solutions that help wider government and industry solve the health, safety and wellbeing challenges of their everyday work, as well as in times of crisis.

We make these solutions available through our bespoke research programmes, our testing services, our training courses and the publications and tools we publish. 

Our solutions relating to areas such as Safe Net Zero, Complete Worker Health, Enhancing Resilient Infrastructure and Data-driven Insights also makes us unrivalled in our ability to assist both public and private sector organisations research and safely enable the products, processes and innovative technologies of the future.

We offer this support not only to those located in Great Britain but also to other countries and regulators, helping them to build capability and implement improved regulatory regimes, especially in construction and high hazard process industries.

The SRC has also worked internationally with other Governments and organisations based in other countries to transfer its knowledge and to share its expertise. The proven solutions and interventions developed by the SRC can be implemented in other countries, cultures and societies to bring about similar health and safety improvements to those seen in GB.

Case Study:  How HSE informed on-shore pipeline risk assessment guidelines in Brazil.

Visiting our offices in the UK

We welcome the exchange of expertise between countries throughout the international community, however, we are unable to accommodate all visit requests due to the assignment of resources and other prior commitments. If you would like the HSE to consider a visit, please complete the form on the link below to ensure that a visit/programme is properly targeted to your needs and allow six weeks for a visit to be arranged. Apply to visit HSE

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