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1. HSC’s Strategic Plan for 2001/04 organised its activities into 4 main Blocks:

Priority Programmes - to deliver its general health and safety PSA, HSC/E is focusing action in 3 sectors and 5 hazard areas where significant improvements in health and safety are needed;

Major Hazards - to ensure the safe management of major hazard industries, HSE will continue to enforce permissioning regimes and will work to develop a PSA target trialled internally at first to support the development of an overarching strategy for major hazards;

Securing Compliance - HSE and Local Authorities will continue to enforce the Health and Safety at Work Act in all workplaces focusing on those that require most improvements, this work will also support delivery of HSC/E’s and Government’s PSA targets; and

Mandatory Activities - to modernise legislation, provide information and advice, conduct research and operate statutory schemes and approval systems. This work will also support delivery of HSC/E’s and Government’s PSA targets.

A year in transition

2.This document sets out what HSC will do in each of the above Blocks in 2003/04 to deliver the 2001/04 Strategic Plan and the 2000 Spending Review Public Service Agreement.

3. Throughout 2003/04 HSC/E will also be looking forward and working on the development of a new strategy for 2004-10. We have already set out a new vision, mission and aims, which will be published later this year. Throughout the year, we will be working with stakeholders to identify key strategic issues with the potential for greatest impact on health and safety in the future. Consultation on this will take place in the summer.

4. Delivery of the current strategy will continue alongside development of the new strategy. Underpinning this transition will be considerable activity to change and renew the way HSE works in order to improve its capability to deliver, to make better use of intelligence, to focus on strategic priorities, to make best use of skills and resources, and to engage most effectively with stakeholders. The management priorities set out in the HSE Management Plan published 2001 will be delivered both as part of and from the platform provided by these wider changes.

Spending Review 2000, Public Service Agreement

5. In June 2000 the Government and HSC published its Strategy for Revitalising Health and Safety. This set out long-term targets to reduce the incidence of injury and ill health and the numbers of days lost from work related absence. Arising from the 2000 Spending Review (SR 2000) HSC and Government published a challenging Public Service Agreement for the three years 2001/02, 2002/03 and 2003/04.

Revitalising Health and Safety Targets

  • Reduce the number of working days lost per 100,000 workers from
    work related injury and ill health by 30% by 2010;
  • Reduce the incidence rate of fatal and major injury accidents by 10% by 2010; and
  • Reduce the incidence rate of cases of work related ill health by 20% by 2010.

Public Service Agreement (SR2000)

  • Achieve half the improvements under each target by 2004 against a baseline of 1999/2000.

6. Achieving the long-term RHS targets and the PSA target for 2001/04 is a task for everyone who has a stake in health and safety at work. What HSC, HSE and local authorities will do to drive delivery is set out in this document. HSC/E will work with other Government Departments, enforcement partners in local authorities; the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, and stakeholders in all industries including employers, employees and Trade Unions to deliver objectives across all 4 work blocks.

A national target for major hazards

7. HSE plays an important role in regulating major hazard activities including rail, nuclear, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, mines and chemical industries (major hazards are defined as those giving rise to risks of multiple fatalities from a single event or linked series of events). HSE is developing a target in this area, which will contribute to the development of an overarching strategy for controlling safety in Major Hazards and to reduce still further the likelihood of catastrophic incidents in Major Hazard industries. The proposed target would aim to reflect how well key Major Hazard industries manage control systems for their major hazard activities. The detail and scope of the target is under development and will be progressed in partnership with relevant stakeholders.

The working target for major hazards is:

Proposed National Target for Major Hazards

To reduce still further the likelihood of catastrophic incidents in key major hazard industries regulated by HSE by achieving a sustained reduction in the level of 'precursor incidents' occurring in these industries over the period 2004 - 2006.

A precursor incident is an event or group of events the occurrence of which might indicate failures in control systems relevant to control risks from a major hazard - as such they are the kind of event in the possible chain of causation and avoidance which would be a key element in the prevention of certain catastrophic outcomes.

8. The types of precursor incidents and the capacity to reduce them will be different for each major hazard industry. The detail and scope of the Target will be developed during 2003/04 and will be taken forward within current business planning processes.

Stakeholder engagement and communication

9. Stakeholder engagement is vital for the delivery of improved health and safety. If we fail to engage our stakeholders the targets for health and safety will not be met. HSC/E will give priority to engaging with:

10. We will continue to maintain close contact with health and safety professionals and their representative organisations so that we ensure a common understanding of developing health and safety priorities. And we will listen to all our stakeholders so that we better meet their needs and together deliver lasting improvements in health and safety.

Managing risks

11. Thre is a range of risks, which have the potential to have a significant effect on our capacity to deliver the strategic plan. These risks have been elaborated in HSE’s Business Risk Model. The key strategic risks of threat to reputation, loss of confidence/ trust of stakeholders and lack of resources to get the job done could result from failure within:

HSE is now evaluating the systems in place to manage these risks effectively. Individual projects and programmes must also identify and manage the risks affecting delivery of their objectives.

Allocating staff resources across programme blocks

12. HSE’s gross budget for 2003/04 is £262million. Over three quarters of this is spent on staff and related costs (administration costs). The distribution of HSE’s staff resource across HSE’s 4 main blocks of work and central services is shown below. Further information on HSE’s budget and resources is given in paragraphs 73 – 76. Over the period of the current Strategic Plan HSE has directed increasing amounts of its staff and programme resource into the delivery of its PSA target and in particular the Priority Programmes. This will continue over future years to maximise the total resource allocated to this area. As the Major Hazards PSA is developed a similar approach will be taken to ensure we are directing our resources in the most effective way to deliver our priorities, which in the case of major hazards will be wider than the precursor based target.

Pie chart - Planned allocation of staff resources by Work Block (by % salaries)Long description available


13. HSC/E reported progress on the first year of the 2001/04 Strategic Plan in the 2001/02 Annual Report. Progress in 2002/03 and 2003/04, including progress against the PSA targets will be published in the relevant Annual Reports. Detailed information on progress with objectives will be available on the HSE website.

Using this plan

14. For the last 5 years HSC has published its Plans on the Internet. This year HSC/E has developed the electronic publication of its Plan to allow readers to explore more of the detail on work programmes described in the Plan. In each Work Block we have identified the priority programmes or priority areas that contribute to the work of that Block. More information on these priorities can be found on the HSE website (

Updated 2014-02-19