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Science and research FAQs

Why does HSE need research?

HSE uses research and scientific and technical expertise to understand problems and develop effective solutions.  It helps HSE to keep abreast of new and fast changing technologies together with societal concerns about the acceptable level of risk in work activities.

HSE research:

  • Improves HSE's understanding of health and safety risks and how to control them
  • Improves HSE's understanding of how people behave and organisations respond to risks
  • Supports enforcement activities eg developing analytical techniques
  • Ensures health and safety regulations, standards and guidance are technically sound and cost effective

How does HSE ensure that it is aware of developments in the future?

A futures team has been established at the Health and Safety Laboratory to gather and analyse information on trends and development across a wide range of subjects and disciplines.

The team calls on a variety of sources including considerable numbers of skilled policy and frontline operational and technical staff in HSE who are able to identify emerging issues and evaluate their likely impact. External contractors, including HSL, are used where appropriate to provide in-depth studies of emerging issues.

How is science and technical support used?

HSE evaluates how research projects are conducted and how the outputs are used by HSE and the wider community. This helps HSE understand their value in contributing to HSE's objectives of preventing people being killed, injured or made ill by work.

Who does HSE work with?

HSE work with the Health and Safety Laboratory and also contract work with private industry, consultants, government laboratories and universities.

Wherever possible, HSE aims to commission research in partnership with relevant industries and stakeholders, and collaborates with national, international and EU programmes.

How do I find out about HSE's science plans?

HSE's Science and Evidence Planwhich sets out what research we will commission..

How is science and research funded?

Funding comes from HSE's grant in aid from government. Research on pesticide use that is managed by HSE is funded by Defra.

How is research procured?

HSE procures most of its research and technical support from the Health and Safety Laboratory, but other opportunities for funding are offered.

How do I write a research report for HSE?

The format of a research report will be specified in the contract. This may follow the 1-3-25 format or for work commissioned prior to July 2010, annex 3 specifications.

How do I search for published research reports?

If you know the report number (RR, CRR or OT number) you can select the project from the historical numerical series we publish. If you want to search on a title, subject or topic area you can use the advanced search.

How is research disseminated?

HSE's policy for dissemination of research results is to make research reports openly available wherever possible. The latest information on recently published research can be found by subscribing to HSEs research reports e-bulletin.

HSE's research is also published in the British Library and peer-reviewed journals, we publish lists of peer-reviewed publications resulting from research we have fully, or jointly-funded, in the Annual Science Review 2016.  Publications can also be found on our Health and Safety Laboratory website.  Together with presenting papers at conferences, these publications are also an important means of disseminating findings to and engaging with stakeholders.

Does HSE have a Research Ethics Committee?

HSE no longer has a Research Ethics Committee and no longer accepts proposals for research projects. New arrangements have been put in place with HSE's Health and Safety Laboratory and the University of Sheffield. HSL's Centre for Workplace Health (CWH) can be contacted at cwh@hse.gov.uk

Updated 2016-09-08