News

HSE inspections up, but prosecutions down over past year

By on

Prosecutions for health and safety offences fell over last year, but inspections increased slightly, according to HSE’s annual report published this summer.


In 2022/23, HSE completed 216 criminal prosecutions for breaches of health and safety with a 94 per cent conviction rate. This is down from 290 prosecutions in 2021/22, and going back further to pre-Covid times, numbers are down by 67 per cent from 361 prosecutions in 2018/19.

However, HSE delivered more proactive inspections over the past 12 months, visiting 16,800 workplaces, a hundred more than in 2021/22.

HSE has delivered more proactive inspections over the past 12 months. Photograph: iStock

250 new members of staff joined HSE last year. The regulator also grew its income by £1 million to £90 million and received £172 million in government funding, £40 million more than in 2018/19.

The extra funding has helped the regulator to establish and prepare for the new Building Safety Regulator for England, which sits within HSE.

It has also played a ‘significant part’, it says, in the safe delivery of the government’s commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This includes working to enable industry to innovate safely to prevent major incidents.

As the report highlights, as well as new risks and responsibilities, long-standing problems remain such as the toll of ill health. Last year, 1.8 million people suffered from work-related ill health, largely due to stress but also musculoskeletal disorders.

There are still 12,000 deaths from lung disease each year and 123 workers were killed doing their jobs.

Writing in the report’s foreword, Sarah Newton, HSE’s chair and Sarah Albon, HSE’s chief executive said: “Work-related ill health is a problem for every section of society, with conditions ranging from cancer and other long-latency diseases to stress and musculoskeletal disorders.

"Over a year ago we launched our campaign to address the lack of knowledge in the workplace concerning work-related stress. Our Working Minds campaign is bringing together organisations to reduce work-related stress and improve mental health.”

HSE annual report and accounts 2022/23 here

NEWS


Menopausal Woman With Fan iStock izusek

Companies must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for menopausal women, new guidance states

By Kerry Reals on 22 February 2024

Employers could face legal action if they fail to make “reasonable adjustments” for women who are experiencing menopause symptoms, under new guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).



Working From Home iStock lechatnoir

Employers with tailored work from home strategies will reap rewards, say researchers

By Kerry Reals on 20 February 2024

A review of nearly 2,000 academic papers on the advantages and disadvantages of working from home has painted a mixed picture, leading researchers to conclude that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing effective home- and hybrid-working strategies.



EBike Battery iStockMixMedia

E-scooters and lithium batteries: the new fire risk for the workplace?

By Phil Pinnington, British Safety Council on 19 February 2024

18 February, the date chosen to play host to National Battery Day, is a particularly important one for the history of the battery. The day marks the birth of the father of battery science, Alessandro Volta, credited as the creator of the Voltaic Pile, an early form of what we know today as the electric battery.