Supporting HSE's programme delivery
Total gross expenditure
129. HSE undertakes a number of activities that:
- Enable delivery of the targets; or
- Deliver the functions imposed upon HSC/E by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) or by the direction of Ministers.
130. HSE manages delivery of these functions in a way that supports delivery of the Strategy and targets.
131. HSE's 'enabling' activities include providing:
- Delivery enabling services including strategy and intelligence, research, evaluation and statistical, legal and economic advice;
- Research into areas that do not directly contribute to Strategic Programmes.
132. To fulfil the responsibilities under the HSWA and to ministers, HSE will:
- Carry out investigations of reported incidents and complaints, as specified by the Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS);
- Apply a balanced and consistent approach to enforcement, as specified by the EPS; and
- Operate a number of approval schemes for products and chemicals.
133. HSE's infrastructure and corporate services include providing:
- Accomodation, telephone and other communication systems (such as tele-conferencing) and IT provision and support;
- Corporate support and business management services including planning, personnel and procurement.
134. There are certain other areas where HSE has similar responsibilities:
- Reviewing and modernising legislation where appropriate;
- Negotiating and implementing European directives; and
- Developing and providing guidance, information and advice.
135. In the past, HSE's legislative work has tended to be reactive. In some cases, particularly business originating in Europe, this is unavoidable. However, legislative work, like all policy work, needs to be driven by HSC's Strategy as much as possible.
136. In order to release maximum resources to Strategic Programme activity we will be limiting our work in these areas; prioritising so that resources can be deployed to achieve maximum impact on outcomes and targets.
137. The HSC is currently reviewing the legislative work plan for 2004/05, in light of the new priorities highlighted by the Strategy. A legislative timetable [140kb] will be published following completion of the review in July.
138. Further details are available in directorate operating plans on the HSE website http://www.hse.gov.uk/
139. Two of HSE's most important areas of enabling work are communications and stakeholder engagement, and science and technology.
Stakeholder engagement and communications
140. Communication is a key theme of the new HSC Strategy. We want it to stand alongside our more traditional activities such as inspection and law enforcement as one of HSE's key interventions in delivering the Strategy and our targets.
141. Effective communication will mean that HSE acts as a champion for sensible health and safety. This involves:
- Engaging in open, inclusive, two-way communication with a wide range of our stakeholders;
- Defending the reputation of health and safety against its detractors;
- Marketing our advice and guidance in the best way;
- Making it clear that effective health and safety management is a collective responsibility; and
- Dealing with different audiences in different ways.
142. We have produced a new communications strategy, which will set an effective communication infrastructure in place and align our communication activities to delivering HSC's Strategy and the targets. We have six communications objectives:
- Developing a communications culture;
- Establishing strategic communications;
- Improving internal communications;
- Building partnerships;
- Presenting a clear picture of our work; and
- Promoting the moral and economic case for sensible health and safety.
143. To increase the impact of the resource we allocate to communication, we shall concentrate effort on three key audiences in 2004/05:
- HSC/E staff and Commissioners;
- National government; and
- Key stakeholders and opinion leaders.
144. Commissioners and senior HSE managers will take a more consistent and active role in communicating messages to, and receiving feedback from our key stakeholders.
145. We will improve our internal briefing systems and introduce new channels for talking and listening to our staff. It is essential we develop and maintain a well informed and motivated workforce in HSE who will not only deliver our activities but also will be the first source of information on the impact of our activities.
146. A media relations review at the end of 2003 showed positive liaison with the trade press, but scope for increasing our impact with national media. Our plan is to increase our proactive work and to give our communications a more consistent look and feel.
147. We are also working to improve our capacity to engage priority stakeholders, starting by improving our knowledge about them and their attitudes, and building better relations with MPs and those with a political interest in health and safety.
Science and innovation
148. High quality science makes an essential contribution to all areas of HSC/E's work. From formulating regulatory decisions regarding people's health and safety, to evaluating how effectively HSC/E is delivering the Government's PSA targets.
149. We are developing a new HSC/E science and innovation (S&I) strategy, setting out how HSE will apply S&I resources to help deliver HSC's Strategy. We will post this on the HSE website for comment during the summer and expect to publish by autumn 2004.
150. For further information see http://www.hse.gov.uk/research
151. Over the last year, we have redesigned HSE's S&I web pages to deliver information in a more accessible format and provide an opportunity for user feedback. We will start publishing a web-based newsletter, HSE Science Outlook, to increase awareness of HSE's wider science and technology activities by autumn 2004.
152. The Government's Chief Scientific Adviser is reviewing departments' science and research activities, with the stated aim of maintaining the quality and use of science across Government. The review of HSE science is due to start in June 2004 and last about ten months.
153. The review will cover all aspects of HSE's scientific activities; from horizon scanning to identifying future science-related issues, to the use, maintenance and development of scientific expertise. HSE welcomes this review and the opportunity to learn how our existing arrangements can be improved.
154. HSE's total research and technical support budget for 2004/5 is £39m (provisionally). This combines both scientific research and technical support for operational work (such as incident investigations and expert evidence in prosecutions).
155. The total research and technical support budget does not include HSE's nuclear research and support budget, (which amounts to about £2m and is paid for through a levy on industry) or a further £6m funding which has been allocated to cover the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) transition to new facilities at Buxton.
156. To secure access to expertise beyond the core capabilities of the Health and Safety Laboratory, HSE has established a Framework Technical Support Agreement with five external contractors.
157. The expected research and support spend across the Strategic Programmes and HSE's other activities are set out below. 'Core' Communications is work to support the Communications Directorate and deliver the 'Communicating the Vision' strategic theme.
158. 'Core' Proactive is enabling and underpinning work to ensure HSE's effectiveness, and cuts across the Strategic Programmes, e.g. evaluation, epidemiology and statistics, horizon scanning, crosscutting research and methodology/standards.
159. 'Core' Mandatory is work that HSE must do statutorily or because of policy commitments, e.g. support to investigation, enforcement and approvals work. HSE investigates a diverse range of incidents, in all of the industry sectors for which we are responsible, to determine what went wrong and to propose measures to avoid any recurrence.
160. For details of research projects see:http://sro.hse.gov.uk/PublicPages/ShowRPD.aspx