04 March 2014

Review of HSE Temple Report

The new edition of the Temple Report, a three-yearly independent review of the function, form and governance of the Health and Safety Executive (‘HSE’), was published in January 2014 and contains helpful and interesting analysis of the functions and effectiveness of the HSE.

The Report was split in two stages; Stage One considered whether the functions of the HSE remained necessary and whether these functions were delivered effectively and efficiently while Stage Two went on to consider whether adequate control and governance arrangements were in place.

Some of the key recommendations that came out of the Report include:

  • Removing the link between fines and funding in relation to the FFI scheme, or showing that the benefits outweigh the detrimental effects, failing which FFI should be phased out.
  • Working out and making publically available ways to measure the cost effectiveness of the HSE to enable more effective comparisons of performance with other organisations.
  • Continuing to improve the HSE’s performance on the length of time taken to complete investigations, with the aim of 95% of non-fatal accident investigations to be completed within 12 months of the accident.
  • Continuing to work to complete Professor Lofstedt’s recommendations by tidying up and removing redundant legislation and consolidating/updating legislation where appropriate.
  • Making the routes for raising concerns with HSE about health and safety at work clearer on HSE’s website.
  • Continuing to seek new and innovative ideas for interventions that maximise the HSE’s impact on the high levels of work-related ill health.
  • Investigating further the provision of a fully chargeable inspection service for organisations who wish to engage the assistance of the regulator in maintaining and improving their health and safety performance.

In our view, the lack of consistency in approach by inspectors across the UK makes it difficult for organisations which operate on a UK basis to trust and respect the judgment of the HSE as so much subjectivity exists; what is acceptable to one inspector is not so to another.

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