“Our mission is to protect people's health and safety by ensuring risks in the changing workplace are properly controlled."
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is part of the Department for Work and Pensions. It is the body responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks. HSE works to prevent people getting killed, injured or made ill by work. HSE Wales works closely with the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) particularly in areas of common interest, e.g. health and safety in agriculture, health and social care, education and public services.
HSE Wales worked together with WAG launching Welsh Backs, a major public health initiative to minimise the financial, personal and psychological effects of back pain on Wales. This activity alone has 160 organisations in Wales signed up.
HSE Wales is at the forefront of working with NHS Wales to improve the health and safety conditions for employees and protect patients from workplace risks. HSE Wales also worked with NHS Wales in creating the Manual Handling Passport Scheme and the Violence and Aggression Passport Scheme, something unique to Wales that is now being spread elsewhere.
HSE Wales successfully works with industry in Wales. The Wales Manufacturing Health and Safety Forum is a unique partnership between manufacturers in Wales, trade unions and HSE Wales. Its aim is to demonstrate and share best practice in safety management systems and hazard management.
HSE Wales is also a signatory of the Concordat between bodies inspecting, regulating, auditing and advising on health and social care in Wales to support the improvement of heath and social care services for the public, and to eliminate unnecessary burdens of inspection programmes on front line staff.
Health and safety law is also enforced in Wales by all Local Authorities; and HSE works closely with them to ensure that we work on significant risks and matters of common interest to reduce accidents and ill health and also, to avoid duplication of enforcement effort. Local Authorities are responsible for health and safety regulation in offices, shops, leisure activities, hotels and restaurants, sporting events, call centres etc.
HSE has over 100 staff based in offices in Cardiff, Wrexham and Carmarthen. The Field Operations Directorate covers the main employment areas of construction, agriculture, manufacturing, quarries, services, health and education. HSE’s Director for Wales is Terry Rose.
Other sectors represented in the HSE Wales’ offices include the Chemical Industries Division, covering onshore petrochemical and related industries; Offshore Safety Division, Gas and individuals in the Specialist Groups for construction, occupational health, electrical safety and mechanical engineering. Nuclear safety in Wales is the responsibility of the Nuclear Safety Directorate based in Bootle, Merseyside.