Strategy, policy and legal framework

HSE sets the strategy, policy and legal framework for health and safety in Great Britain.

Our position as a regulator ensures we will remain the key player. But we encourage all those who have an interest to get involved in delivering safer and healthier workplaces. Our strategy, Helping Great Britain work well, aims to deliver this.

Our overarching, strategic principles

The principles of the health and safety system are sound and have stood the test of time:

  • those who create risks have a responsibility to manage them
  • action should be proportionate to the risks that need managing

Focusing on risks

We promote a sensible, proportionate approach and want dutyholders to focus on controlling significant risks, so they:

  • think about how accidents and ill health could happen
  • concentrate on those risks that are most likely and cause most harm

Evidence-based policy

Our policies are underpinned by sound scientific and economic evidence. We listen to the views of others and respond accordingly.

A simplified legal framework

Our approach is risk-based and goal-setting. We have greatly simplified health and safety law in recent years and reduced unnecessary burdens on dutyholders. We achieved this by:

  • removing outdated legislation
  • cutting out duplication
  • removing requirements which did not improve health and safety outcomes

Further information

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Updated 2022-11-01