May 2022 saw the launch of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) new 10 year strategy. The strategy is said to reflect the HSE’s role at its broadest - going beyond worker safety to include public safety assurance across a number of issues. The strategy recognises the changing landscape from the increase in the gig economy to the commitment to Net Zero.

But why does it matter? 

It gives an insight into where and what the HSE sees as the biggest health and safety challenges – and therefore where it may focus attention and resources. 

Our top three take-aways from the strategy are: (i) work-related ill-health; (ii) public safety; and (iii) net zero. Read on to find out more.

1. Specific focus on mental health and stress

There will be a specific focus on mental health and stress to reduce work-related ill health. The HSE commits to make “interventions” which will make a real difference and calls on the wider industry and businesses to help too.

2. Increased role in public safety

The HSE will establish the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) to (i) oversee the safety and standards of all buildings; (ii) help and encourage the built environment industry and building control professionals to improve their competence and (iii) lead the implementation of the new regulatory framework for high-rise buildings. The HSE recognises that this role goes beyond workplaces and the need to build the confidence of a wide ranging audience, including residents.

There is also recognition of its role in the regulation of chemicals, pesticides, biocides and detergents and the need to have effective regimes in place so businesses can trade and use these products without putting people and the environment at risk.

3. Commitment to achieve Net Zero

The strategy recognises the balancing act it needs to strike between managing the challenges and risks created by new and innovative technologies without wanting to stifle what is necessary to achieve Net Zero. 

The HSE highlights that one of its early priorities will be the safety implications of using hydrogen for decarbonisation.

You can access the full 10 year strategy here HSE strategy 2022 to 2023 - About us - HSE 

If you would like any advice in relation to how the strategy might affect you, or any other health and safety related queries, please contact Ann Metherall, Charlotte Whitaker or Marie-Elizabeth Bailey.