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How we work

Structure of the research and technical support programme

Factors influencing research

The need to keep abreast of new and fast changing technologies together with societal concerns about the acceptable level of risk in work activities are the key drivers for new research.  

Research is undertaken to help meet HSE's business objectives. It plays a key role in:

Research organisation

HSE has published a Science and Evidence Strategy 2016-2020 which describes how science and evidence are at the heart of HSE’s work and helping to deliver the wider strategy for the health and safety system, Helping Great Britain Work Well.

HSE has an integrated research and technical support programme which addresses both generic and specific occupational health and safety issues across the complete spectrum of HSE's regulatory responsibilities. Funding comes from HSE's grant in aid from government.

HSE has published its Summary Science and Evidence Delivery Plan 2017-18 which sets out how HSE will apply science and engineering resources to the delivery and realisation of the strategy goals.

Research on pesticide use is managed by HSE and funded by Defra.

Nuclear safety research is managed by the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Procurement of research

HSE's research procurement policy is to ensure that research is contracted efficiently and effectively to maximise value for money, ensure financial probity and further our health and safety interests. The programme comprises projects carried out by contractors from private industry, consultants, government laboratories, universities and the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL). HSE does not award research grants.

HSE looks to commission research with organisations which can demonstrate that they have the necessary capability and follow sound health and safety and environmental practices. Account is also taken of the existence and proper operation of appropriate quality management systems.

Further information on research procurement can be found at Contract opportunities.

Updated 2017-07-18