Our management

HSE is governed by the Board and the Executive Committee.

Non-executive board members

Sarah Newton - Chair of the Board

Sarah Newton

Sarah has thirty years' experience of strategic planning, leadership and change management, dealing with complex issues across the business, voluntary and governmental sectors. She has considerable experience of building partnerships between diverse people and organisations to deliver shared aims. She has served on a wide range of boards and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.

Between 2010 and 2019 she was an MP and served for three years as a Member of the Science and Technology Select Committee before becoming a Minister in the Home Office and latterly at the Department of Work and Pensions, where she had the honour of working with the HSE and leading the Health and Work unit. Amongst other responsibilities while at the Home Office she led work on tackling modern slavery, human trafficking and human exploitation.

Before entering the House of Commons, she was Director of the International Longevity Centre - UK, Age Concern England and American Express Europe. She also served as a Councillor in the London Borough of Merton.

Sarah was educated at Falmouth Comprehensive School and King's College London. Sarah won a Rotary International postgraduate scholarship in the USA.

Sarah is married with three children.

Sarah Newton's register of interests

Chyrel Brown

Chyrel Brown

Chyrel is currently the Chief Operating Officer at One Housing Group and has worked for more than 20 years in large, complex commercial organisations across London and the Southeast. She sits on the Boards of St Martins of Tours Housing Association and Barnsbury Housing Association.

In the aftermath of the Grenfell Fire disaster, Chyrel delivered assurance to the London Assembly on Fire Safety and embedded organisational risk regimes in cladding, fire and regulatory compliance.

Chyrel Brown's register of interests

David Coats

David Coats

David has previously worked for the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and currently supports a number of trade unions. He is currently the director of Work Matters Consulting and a Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester. He sits on the Central Arbitration Committee, which is effectively the Industrial Court for Great Britain, as well as the Advisory Committee for the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University of Warwick.

As well as his breadth of experience in industrial relations, including work with non-unionised environments such as vulnerable workers, David has previously advised the World Economic Forum and Low Pay Commission.

David Coats' register of interests

Martin Esom

Martin Esom

Martin was Chief Executive of Waltham Forest Council, a position he held between 2010 and 2023.

During his time at the Council, between 2012 and 2018, he was Chair of the London Prevent Board which oversaw critical work in relation to counterterrorism and anti-radicalisation across the capital.

He delivered the regeneration of the borough, culminating in the Council’s successful bid to become both London’s first London Borough of Culture and then MJ Local Authority of the Year in 2019. In response to Covid-19, Martin took on the role of London Local Authority Strategic Co-ordination Chief Executive (London Gold), coordinating activity across all London boroughs, and was a member of the London Strategic Coordination Group (SCG). Most latterly Martin has overseen the University of Portsmouth opening its new London campus and a brand-new theatre, Soho Walthamstow, bringing in half a billion pounds of inward economic activity.

Martin is a Non-Executive Director of the Sports Ground Safety Authority and an Independent Non-Executive member of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Transformation Board.

Martin Esom's register of interests

Debbie Gillatt

Debbie Gillatt

Debbie Gillatt CBE is a longstanding magistrate, a Trustee of Victim Support UK and a Trustee at Penny Parks Charitable Trust. Previously she held NED roles with Companies House and the Insolvency Service and was the Director of Business Frameworks at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Within BEIS, she most recently led the teams responsible for the UK’s company law, accounting standards and corporate governance rules, and for corporate transparency and anti-corruption initiatives. She also led on corporate responsibility and boardroom diversity.

Debbie has also managed a £3.2bn government grant fund for businesses and led the cross-Whitehall team which supported Lord Heseltine in producing his report on the UK’s competitiveness. She previously worked in the Cabinet Secretariat and managed the Secretary of State’s ministerial support team.

Her experience includes managing government’s relationship with a range of business sectors from production machinery to telecoms, and ground-breaking work in both economic regulation and inward investment.

Debbie Gillatt's register of interests

Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson OBE was the Chief Executive at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (the first woman and non-uniformed chief executive to lead a Fire and Rescue Service in the United Kingdom) until her retirement in July 2015.

Susan previously held the position of Chief Executive of the Northern Business Forum and Executive Director Business Development for the Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward. Susan has held a number of Non-Executive roles including Greggs plc, Legacy Trust UK and was a Public Member for Network Rail. She is currently Chair of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority and a Commissioner with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and with the Local Government Boundary Commission. She is also a Non-Executive Director of the Sports Ground Safety Authority and of the Local Partnerships and is an Independent Member on the Risk and Audit Committee of Gentoo Group.

Susan was awarded the OBE for services to New Deal in the North East in 2000.

Susan Johnson's register of interests

John McDermid

John McDermid

John McDermid became Professor of Software Engineering at the University of York in 1987. His research covers a broad range of issues in systems, software and safety engineering. He became Director of the Lloyd's Register Foundation-funded Assuring Autonomy International Programme in January 2018, focusing on safety of robotics and autonomous systems. He acts as an advisor to government and industry, including FiveAI, the UK MoD and Rolls-Royce. He has been actively involved in standards development, including work on safety and software standards for civilian and defence applications. He is author or editor of 6 books and has published about 400 papers. He became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2002 and was awarded an OBE in 2010.

John McDermid's register of interests

Ged Nichols

Ged Nichols

Ged Nichols started his working life with the Halifax Building Society in Liverpool in 1979 and immediately became a union member and health and safety representative.

He spent the next years progressing his education, career and involvement in the trade union movement culminating in his being elected as a union leader at the age of 30 in 1993.

He has remained in his position as General Secretary of the Accord union since then and steered the union through a number of mergers and the aftermath of the financial crisis.

He sits on the Executive Committee and General Council of the TUC and is the chair of the trustees of the TUC Superannuation Society Ltd.

He is a non-executive director of Involvement and Participation Association and a non-executive director of Trade Union Fund Managers Ltd.

He took up his role on the HSE Board on 1 September 2019.

Ged Nicol's register of interests

Gina Radford

Gina Radford

Gina is a part time Vicar in rural Devon looking after 2 villages on the edge of Dartmoor, a job she began in June 2019.

She trained as a doctor, and has had a long history in public health at local, national and international levels. Prior to her current role she was Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, which included advising and influencing Ministers, key officials, professionals and the public. She was a regular speaker at conferences and with the media. She also has considerable experience both at developing national policy and strategy, and also implementation.

During the pandemic Gina advised the Church of England nationally on its response to COVID-19; and has been working with government on specific aspects of its response. She was a member of Operation Talla Ethics Committee supporting the police response.

When not working her hobbies include walking (and running) with her collie dog, riding, being outdoors and reading.

Gina Radford's register of interests

Claire Sullivan

Claire Sullivan

Claire Sullivan started her working life as a physiotherapist, qualifying in 1985 and working in the NHS in London for the next decade.

During this period, Claire developed an interest in fairness and rights at work, including health and safety, and went on to undertake a Masters degree in Industrial Relations while continuing to work as a physiotherapist.

Claire joined the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy as their Health and Safety Officer in 1995 and undertook a number of senior roles before taking up her current post heading up the trade union arm of the Society, as Director of Employment Relations and Union Services, in 2014.

Claire sits on the Executive Committee and the General Council of the Trades Union Congress and on the England NHS Social Partnership Forum. Claire was a member of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) for 10 years and has an extensive understanding of health and safety at board level. She took up her role from 1 August 2019.

Claire Sullivan's register of interests

Ken Rivers

Ken Rivers

Ken is a former Chair of the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Strategic Forum. He is also a member of the Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG) which was formed to report on progress made by the built environment industry towards achieving culture change following the Grenfell Tower fire. He is a past President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and helped lead the organisation through a fundamental review of its strategy and governance.

Ken’s background is in the oil industry, which includes being CEO of Refining NZ and having responsibility for Shell’s UK refining operations. He is a past President of the UK Petroleum Industry Association. He also chaired the industry/regulator task force in the wake of the Buncefield terminal explosion and more recently chaired the Midstream Oil Sector Government and Industry Task Force, which considered ways of improving the resilience of oil product supplies following a government review.

Ken Rivers' register of interests

Executive committee

Sarah Albon - Chief Executive

Sarah Albon

A career civil servant with a strong commitment to the delivery of effective and accountable public services, Sarah took up post as Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive in September 2019. Prior to this, she was Chief Executive of the Insolvency Service from February 2015, guiding the agency through a period of major transformative change and leading the response to a number of high-profile corporate failures, including the liquidations of Carillion and British Steel.

Before undertaking these Chief Executive roles, Sarah spent much of her career working in the Ministry of Justice and its predecessor departments, including most recently as Director of Strategy and Change for what was then Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service; her wider work in those departments spanned a number of areas including policy, strategy, finance and operational delivery.

Sarah also acts as Mediation Champion for the Civil Service, working with colleagues across Whitehall to publicise the benefits of mediation in the workplace as an alternative method of dispute resolution.

Clare Millington-Hume - Human Resources

Clare Millington-Hume

Clare is a highly experienced HR leader and practitioner with over 30 years’ experience especially in the public sector arena. Clare has led the HR functions at a number of Arm’s Length Bodies including BPDTS Ltd, an arm’s length body of DWP, and the College of Policing. Clare also had a varied and longstanding career in local government before joining NHS England with experience of working with organisations at both a local and national level. Clare is a Fellow member of CIPD.

Born in Scotland, Clare’s parents moved to the north of England when she was a small child and she resides near Leeds. Clare loves to travel both home and abroad and is a keen follower of F1.

David Murray - Finance and Corporate Services

David Murray

David Murray is the Health and Safety Executive's Director of Finance and Planning having joined HSE in June 2013. His responsibilities include business planning and performance, finance and procurement.

David has previous public sector Board level experience and worked for 10 years as Director of Resources with Government Procurement Service. Prior to this he spent 5 years as Vice Principal/Director of Finance, Resources and Planning at Wirral Metropolitan College and before that he held a number of senior finance roles in the NHS including Chief Accountant at Salford Royal Hospitals.

Andrew Curran - Science and Commercial

Andrew Curran

Professor Andrew Curran joined the organisation in 1991 and has held a number of technical and leadership positions in both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and its previous agency, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL).

As Deputy Chief Executive of HSL, he was responsible for operational delivery and the technical capability of the organisation. He became Chief Scientific Adviser to HSE in 2015. He, is the Chair of the Sheffield Group (the global network of national health and safety research organisations) and a member of the Steering Group of the Partnership for European Research in Occupational Safety and Health (PEROSH).

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and the Chartered Management Institute, and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (UK). He has been significantly involved in providing scientific advice in support of the UK government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as an active SAGE participant and through leading one of the national Core Studies looking at transmission of the virus.

Rick Brunt - Engagement and Policy

Rick Brunt

Rick joined HSE in 1989 and has worked across a range of industry sectors as an inspector and in senior operational roles. Throughout his HSE career he has also moved through a number of leadership roles including Business Services, HR Learning and Development, Operational Policy and Strategy. As Head of Agriculture he led the development of HSE’s current strategy for working with the agricultural industry, integrating a range of regulatory activities, communications, partnership working and stakeholder engagement to increase the reach and impact of actions to improve the sector’s poor health and safety record.

Most recently he played a key role in working across government as part of HSE’s response to the Covid Pandemic and has since led the development of HSE’s new strategy, Protecting People and Places.

Philip White - Building Safety and Construction

Philip White

Philip White joined HSE as a Factory Inspector in 1985 and has experience of regulating a broad range of industries. Philip has held senior operational and policy roles in HSE including Head of HSE's Operational Strategy Division and Chief Inspector of Construction. Philip has experience of working elsewhere in Government including a secondment to the Department for Work and Pensions heading up the Health and Safety Sponsorship Team, advising Government Ministers on health and safety at work policy and the work of the Health and Safety Executive.

Angela Storey - Transformation

Angela Storey

Angela Storey is Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Director of Transformation, joining HSE in November 2016.

Angela has operated at Board Level in both public and private sector for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in operational delivery, transformation and the delivery of consultancy services. She has held a variety of senior roles including Director of Treasury Services for Pendle Borough Council, responsible for customer services, benefits, council tax, business rates, fraud, investigation and prosecution services and debt collection, and Director of Transformation and Solution Development for Liberata, responsible for business development, transformation, sales solutions, products, services and consultancy.

Angela has the equivalent of a Degree in Business Management and taught Welfare Benefits Law, Business Management and Public Sector Finance at the University of Lancashire for 7 years.

Michael Jennings - Legal

Michael Jennings

Michael was called to the Bar in 1994 at Gray's Inn. He was a pupil both at 6KBW (now 6KBW, College Hill) and then with the CPS in London. From 1995 until 2009 he was a prosecutor in London handling cases ranging from theft to murder and appeared regularly in both the Magistrates and Crown courts. 

In 2009 Michael left CPS London to join the Special Crime Division at CPS HQ where he advised on serious cases of corruption, corporate manslaughter, medical negligence and high-profile prosecutions. Michael then left the CPS in 2011 to become a senior legal adviser and speechwriter to the Attorney General.

In 2014 Michael moved to Home Office Legal Advisers working in the team advising on Policing, Crime Reduction and Fire, becoming Deputy Director of the team in 2017. In 2019 Michael was appointed Principal Private Secretary to the Home Secretary and Head of the Private Office Group. 

In 2020 Michael returned to the Government Legal Department to the Ministry of Justice Legal Advisers (MOJLA). Here Michael was appointed the Principal Legal Adviser (PLA) to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA). In this role Michael headed the legal team which provides advice to the LAA on legal aid funding as well as dealing in house with all LAA litigation. As well as being PLA Michael also led the MOJLA Private International Law and Trade in Legal Services team. That team provided advice on a range of international issues relating to jurisdiction, enforcement and recognition as well as advising on free trade agreements. The team also provided advice on the Crown Dependencies and their legislation.

Jane Lassey - Regulation

Jane Lassey

Jane Lassey will take over Philip White’s DoR ExCo responsibilities on an interim basis for approximately 6 months.

In the same way Philip will be providing continuity and stability in building safety, the intention is Jane will do the same as interim Director of Regulation.

Jane joined HSE as a Factory Inspector in 1991 and has experience of regulating a broad range of industries both in Major Hazards regimes as well as across Field Operations Division.

As Director of CEMHD over the last 3 years, Jane has been leading the division to ensure continued delivery of the regulatory framework essential across existing hydrocarbon industries. This has also meant responding to Net Zero regulatory challenges, and considering our role as emerging technologies develop.

Board meetings

HSE is committed to being open, so we publish the latest meeting agendas, papers and minutes.

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Updated 2024-07-11