Dr J McQuaid Chairman, Health and Safety Executive
Dr J M Le Guen Secretary, Health and Safety Executive
Ms T Willis Minutes secretary, Health and Safety Executive
Mr A V Jones Health and Safety Executive
Mr D Perridge Department of the Environment
Mr S Carlyle Department of the Environment, HMIP
Mr C P Kendall Department of Health
Mr D Moss Department of Trade and Industry
Mr D Hale Cabinet Office Deregulation Unit
Ms P Kilbey Department of Transport
Ms V Jenson Home Office, Fire Safety
Dr G A Carr-Hill Home Office
Mr A Walker Department for Education and Employment
Mrs J Wright Department for Education and Employment
Dr C E Fisher Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food
Dr D J Hewkin Ministry of Defence
Mr M Parsonage Treasury
Mr A Richardson Inland Revenue
Mr J Lugton Scottish Office
Dr H J Prosser Welsh Office
Dr K Gray Department of National Heritage
Mr A G Sayce Civil Aviation Authority
Mr S Lackie Northern Ireland Office
(b) to exchange information on the techniques used;
(c) to explore the extent to which common philosophies and terminology can be developed;
(d) to provide in the context of the overall deregulation initiative, a forum for the development of advice on technical and policy aspects of risk assessment and related techniques as in (a) above;
(e) to produce a report, by September 1994, describing and comparing current practices of risk assessment in Government Departments (the "White Paper" commitment), the implications of such practices for Departments, both individually and collectively, and how such practices may be developed;
(f) to review the terms of reference following the completion of the report.`
|Department||Development of policy||Within policy||application of the policy||Internationally||Approach to the Risk Assessment||Promotion of Risk Assessment||External sources of advice|
|DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT||Uses of risk
- Deciding priorities for policy and research,
- Resource allocation,
- Approach to regulatory regime,
- As a tool for refining the decision-making process.
|Risk assessment in
the "areas of road and vehicle safety and, to a lesser extent in marine safety. It is
also used extensively by rail operators for setting safety targets (rail safety is
regulated by HSE).
Civil Aviation Authority:
Safety Regulation Group use risk assessment as basis for setting safety targets, eg for the reliability of equipment.
National Air Traffic Service use risk assessment to ensure that safety is not compromised either by its re-equipment programme or in the design of new air traffic systems.
Decisions on regulations, for example, the compulsory wearing of seat-belts.
Decisions on investment in road safety.
Shipping Safety Agency:
Rail (including underground):
Most of the regulations for vehicle standards are made by the EU. Developing vehicle standards requires assessment of the likely effect on accident rates and injuries to car occupants and other road users.
UK has submitted paper to International Maritime Organisation on formal safety assessment, a technique which uses risk assessment.
IMO has formed a group co-ordinated by the UK to develop the idea further.
Prescriptive IAEA Regulations provide a benchmark against which to base assessment for approval of competent authority.
Most regulations are agreed internationally by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). CAA is promoting the use of risk assessment and CBA techniques.
are used :
The DOT/Marine Safety agency has previously let research contracts involving risk assessment including a recent project entitled "Evaluating and Applying Formal Safety Assessment". A further contract has been put out to tender.
Risk assessment used for :
Prioritising areas of potential research,
Health and Safety policy formulation,
Legislative approach for fire safety.
Fire risk assessment is incorporated within published guidance for fire authorities etc. It is also the key regulation within proposed fire safety legislation implementing fire safety requirements of EU Directives.
The Forensic Science Service use of risk assessment is specifically health and safety, accommodation, and environment based.
Emergency planning research.
Health and Safety policy on training exercises for Fire Officers.
Practical guidance on the fire risk assessment approach.
Risk assessment is assuming a more important role in new legislation needed to implement the fire safety requirements of EU directives.
Department have provisional plans to include risk assessment in their research programme.
If legislation proceeds, fire risk assessment will be promoted by means of guidance, seminars etc.
Fire Protection Association,
Risk assessment required for compliance with health and safety legislation.
Work organised to reduce risks.
Strongly represented on international policy-making bodies.
|Strongly support the
Forest & Aboriculture Safety & Training Council in the production of safety
Programme of safety workshops.
Represented on BSI committees and working groups.
Limited scope for risk assessment in policy areas.
Risk assessment of limited use for operational matters.
Information Technology Office use risk assessment and risk management techniques in feasibility studies and project appraisal (TECFRAME assessment software).
Risk assessment is also used in IT security policy.
Risk assessment techniques are used to prioritise internal audit coverage and in reviews of the operational functions of the taxes and collection network.
Risk assessment used for:
- Resource allocation,
- Control options,
- Developing research and development.
Risk assessment used for:
- Food Safety Act codes of practice,
- Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for veterinary medicine,
- Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations,
- Food and Environment Protection Act.
Risk assessment applied to:
- Food Safety,
- Acceptable medicine intake,
- Food product approval for additives / contaminants,
- Plant health,
- Evaluation of technical marine conservation measures,
- Catch quotas
- Biotechnology approvals,
- Discharge licences,
- Advice on action to protect food chain following emergency,
- Appraisal of flood defences,
- Pesticide approval.
Food safety: EU,
Strong EU influence on veterinary medicine.
Pest risk analysis with Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN).
No Observed Adverse Effect Levels
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points.
QRA is used for:
- control intake.
- structure analysis / problem solving.
- Hazard analysis.
- Critical control points for food safety.
- Food safety and pesticide criteria made available to consumers.
- Veterinary medicine risk
assessment promoted in EC.
- Development of methodology for perception and communication of risk.
- Flood defence research development and guidance.
|CUSTOMS & EXCISE||
Risk assessment underpins targeting of resources to counter perceived greatest risks (of smuggling etc.).
Risk assessment used in :
- determining visit intervals to traders,
- debt recovery,
- excise work,
- customs freight work,
- anti-smuggling work.
for anti-smuggling work.
eg for types of traffic, origin and routing of traffic.
|Risk assessment used
- research into development potential.
have been subject to risk assessment:
- nuclear re-processing,
- petro-chemical plant,
- marine terminal ('break shock' phenomenon).
|EU Directive on environmental assessment.||Formal examples of risk assessment have been highly quantitative but less significant development proposals may be subject to semi-quantitative and qualitative assessments in course of planning appeals.||Arises statutorily through planning process and consequent consultation with HSE.||HSE|
Risk assessment used as a tool for refining the decision-making process.
Risk assessment is used in pollution incidents and contaminated land remediation to aid decision-making on control measures.
Research has been undertaken on the risk assessment of contaminated land sites in Wales.
|MINISTRY OF DEFENCE||
Risk assessment used to guide management in the setting of priorities and allocation of resources.
Risk assessment required by environmental protection and health and safety legislation, eg
- MHSWR 1993,
- Control of GMOs,
- NII regulations on external hazards at dockyards,
- Reclamation of contaminated land,
- Public Information for Radiation Emergencies Regulations 1992.
Examples of criteria used to control risk:
- specific safety design features for:
- weapon systems,
- armament stores,
- radiation dose.
- quantity of an explosive at a defined distance.
For weapons procurement or explosives storage, ad hoc procedures complying with basic principles are used to identify sources of risk.
Risk assessment used increasingly as a management input to committees such as the Ordnance Board.
NATO committee structure provides opportunities for exchange of information on risk assessment developments in specific areas and its use as a management tool.
Detailed models are extensively developed within Nuclear and Radiation Safety areas. A
less formal procedure is used to estimate maximum risk of fatality from explosives storage
Specific quantitative expertise includes: - Fault tree analysis,
- Reliability prediction,
- Release cloud behaviour,
- Estimation of individual and societal risk,
- Frequency of meteorological events.
Radiation safety area has experience in the development of criteria to suit particular situations and offer protection to the public.
|Willing to contribute to debate on tolerability of risk, public perception, of risk and achievement of equitable decisions.||Contractors known to
contribute to MOD risk assessment work include :
- Rolls Royce Associates,
- Safety & Reliability Directorate,
- Hunting Engineering,
|DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH||
Risk assessment, though rarely undertaken as a formal exercise, informs priority setting and allocation of resources.
Risk assessment is used in the following areas:
- Safety of medicines,
- Food safety,
- Air/Water quality,
- Planning for chemical/radiation
- Vaccination/Immunisation strategy,
- Assessment of medical devices,
- Health promotion.
Examples of applications are:
- Decisions on licensing of medicines.
- Recommend action on food safety
issues through expert committees.
- Consideration of food hazards and
decisions on handling.
- Setting regulatory standards for medical
devices; food, air, water safety.
- Priorities for vaccination and other
public health policies.
DH has active involvement in international discussions, including:
- European Community.
- European Standards Body.
|Qualitative in almost all cases; quantitative risk assessment models are seldom used.||Risk assessment is
- publications, reports etc.,
- health promotion initiatives,
- contributions to conferences etc.
- expert advisory committees,
- NDPBs, eg. PHLS, NRPB,
- ad hoc research/consultants.
|DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT||
Although no formal risk assessment is employed, informal analysis is used as a tool for refining and informing the decision making process.
Risk identification forms a part of operational and business planning within the Department. Directorate plans and the Business Plan set out the risks to the achievement of performance targets.
Potential for loss is minimized through financial systems design, audit, information and guidance to budget holders, training of budget holders and budget officers, eg Managing risks is an integral part of identifying contract requirements and managing the relationship with service providers.
Risk assessment used to:
- assess the risk to computer systems,
- identify security requirements,
- shape operational procedures, back-up
routines and stand-by arrangements,
- identify the main risks to the
Department's business functions and
There is a legal requirement for general risk assessments of all work areas to be carried out. Buildings safety risks are managed through comprehensive fire and emergency instructions and the provision of alarm systems.
Information on risk management is included in the Guidance on Contract Management and Service Level Agreements.
On the education side, the department is represented on HSE Committees and Working Groups, involved in special consultative exercises with HSE's Education National Interest Group.
|DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY||
Risk assessment is used for:
- Corporate planning,
- Work prioritisation,
- Formulation of negotiating strategies,
- Resource allocation,
- Compliance Cost Assessment.
Risk assessment is used for:
- Targeting and refinement of legislation:
eg - Competition,
- Consumer Safety.
- Standard setting:
eg - Consumer Safety,
- Electricity Supply Regulations 1988.
Risk assessment is applied in the following areas:
- Consumer Safety
eg - defining the acceptability of risk.
- Small Firms
eg - for assessing the risk of a shortage of suitable finance,
- for administration of Uniform Business Rate,
- for assessing the effects of legislation.
- Oil and Gas,
eg - for deciding degree of inspection,
- for tax assessment,
- abandonment of installations and pipelines,
- for regulation of discharge of chemicals offshore.
- Services Management,
eg - IT security policy,
- Market testing of contracts.
- Radiocommunications Agency,
eg - categorisation of response to radio interference complaints.
- British National Space Centre,
eg - assessment of risk inherent in programme of work.
eg - prioritisation of review of insurance company returns.
Risk assessment is used in an international context in the following areas:
- Consumer safety,
- Small firms,
- Competition Policy,
- Economic planning,
Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are used, with formalisation in some areas.
Consultants are used in the following areas:
- Consumer safety,
- Small firms,
- Services management,
- Regional development,
- Office of Fair Trading.
|DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT||
Risk assessment used for developing policy in appropriate areas, such as:
- radioactive waste disposal,
- use of chemicals,
- land use policy.
Risk assessment is used explicitly in some areas:
- discharge of radionuclides and
disposal of radioactive waste,
- discharge of asbestos,
- release of GMOs,
- effects of radon,
- control of existing chemicals.
and is implicit in developing other policy areas such as:
- discharges of chemical pollutants,
- global atmosphere changes,
- land use planning.
Risk assessment used in preparing HMIP's case for public hearing on feasibility of underground disposal of nuclear waste.
Risk assessment is implicit consideration of inspectors in application and enforcement of integrated pollution control under the EP Act 1990.
Much of Department's policy derives from international agreements, recommendations and legislation in EU, OECD, ICRP, UN, PARCOM etc.
Export of dangerous chemicals from EU to developing countries.
Use quantitative or probabilistic risk assessment where practicable and appropriate, eg underground disposal of nuclear waste. Otherwise use a qualitative approach.
Extensive research into development of risk assessment methods and practice for protection of humans and the environment, eg.
- release of GMOs,
- environmental sensitivity to
Publications such as 'Policy Appraisal and the Environment' and the White Paper 'This Common Inheritance'.
|HEALTH & SAFETY EXECUTIVE||
Risk assessment is used for:
- deciding the priorities HSC/E should address.
- planning the allocation of resources, to ensure priorities are properly addressed and that value for money is achieved,
- Cost Benefit Assessment (CBA) of new regulations, ie to decide whether new regulations are necessary where benefit exceeds risk,
- post hoc evaluation of the impact of new legislation,
- prioritising research required to be undertaken to fulfil operational and policy needs,
- deciding the control regime required to address a particular problem or issue, for example to decide between issuing legislation, guidance, license or approval.
Risk assessment is used as a mechanism in regulation to enable those who create risks to introduce control measures that are commensurate to those risks. This approach prevents over expenditure when controlling risks and thus ensures that regulations do not become burdensome.
The above approach is inherent in all post Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) health and safety legislation, in the following areas for example:
- Major Hazards,
- Genetically Modified Organisms,
- Manual Handling,
- Workplace Equipment,
- Display Screen Equipment,
- Personal Protective Equipment.
Risk assessment is used:
By HSC and its Advisory Committees to HSE for:
- exposure limit setting, ie setting standards which are regarded to be acceptable or tolerable, for exposure to certain substances.
- post-hoc evaluation of regulatory packages - in some cases, major regulatory packages are subject to post hoc evaluation to assess the extent to which benefits anticipated in the CBA have been achieved and to examine any additional costs incurred as a result of the regulations.
By HSE for:
- development of standards, eg for safety from nuclear installations.
- development of criteria for deciding whether risks are:
- broadly acceptable,
- tolerable, or
taking into account such factors as uncertainty and perception.
- the granting of licenses / exemptions / consents / approvals and advising, as a statutory consultee, on certain land-use planning matters.
- as competent authority for assessing risks from substances notified under the notification of New Substances
By Inspectors for :
- inspection rating system, ie rating businesses, according to certain criteria, to decide the frequency at which inspections should be carried out.
- interpreting legislation and other standards in industrial circumstances.
- during visits, deciding whether risks are adequately controlled.
- deciding what is reasonably practicable.
- deciding on enforcement methods appropriate to individual circumstances and what course of action to take to require risks to be further controlled.
HSE IS ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH:
- Development of legislation and standards,
- Senior Labour Inspectors Committee,
- Channel Tunnel agreements,
- Development of risk assessment scheme for substances.
- Development of International legislation and standards,
- International chemical control programmes,
- International Atomic Energy Authority safety standards,
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
|Various approaches are used, ranging from extremely subjective and informal qualitative assessments, through semi-quantitative, to, at the other end of the spectrum, highly quantitative assessments used, for example, in the major hazards, offshore or nuclear fields.||- HSE publishes
guidance covering all areas of its work, much of which entails risk assessment, eg.
- guidance on hazard control, ie identifying hazards, identifying those exposed, evaluating the risk and implementing control measures.
- 'The Tolerability of Risk from Nuclear Power Stations' sets out the approach adopted for assessing the tolerability and acceptability of risks both in individual and societal terms.
- HSE has produced a video, aimed at small firms, explaining the use of risk assessment and its application for reducing risks in the workplace. The video stresses the benefits of risk assessment, for example the removal of burdensome prescriptive legislation.
- Substantial programme of
extramural research involving risk
- HSE promote the use of risk
assessment for inspection rating to
other enforcement authorities, eg
- HSE inspectors give advice during inspection, particularly in relation to risk-based legislation.
- HSE organises or contributes to conferences (including international ones) seminars and local talks addressing risk assessment issues.
|Some research is contracted out, eg to Safety and Reliability Directorate.|
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