Strategic initiative between HSE and BAE Systems 2014 - 2016


This outlines the OPSTD Manufacturing Sector initiative with BAE and the interaction with HSE and ONR regulatory work.


The initiative includes:

  • Encouraging and supporting BAE to influence the improvement of health and safety standards of their supply chain dutyholders,
  • Manufacturing Sector acting as a central point of contact for:
    • BAE to discuss strategic level health and safety issues,
    • FOD staff to report any concerns about systemic corporate level issues,
    • disseminating relevant information to operational staff.

The initiative is not regulatory. It is not to advise on, or coordinate, operational work.


Inspectors should:

  • continue to inspect BAE sites in accordance with business plans, divisional inspection targeting, relevant Operational Guidance (OG), and any local liaison arrangements,
  • enforce at BAE sites, where appropriate, in accordance with the EMM and EPS,
  • send to Manufacturing Sector information on especially good or poor practices found during inspection or investigation,
  • consider if it would be useful to discuss the background and proposed inspection/investigation with the sector contact before any visit.

Manufacturing Sector will keep operational parts of HSE and ONR aware of any corporate initiatives with BAE.


BAE Systems PLC is a global defence, aerospace and security company employing around 88,200 people worldwide, approximately 34,800 in the UK. They are the largest supplier to the UK Ministry of Defence with interests in the manufacture, repair and servicing of naval vessels and submarines, combat vehicles, fixed-wing aircraft and general munitions.

The main manufacturing sites are listed in the Appendix. They also have repair and servicing facilities at many RAF bases.

BAE Systems were part of LOPP (Large Organisations Partnership Pilot) which was concluded in 2008. FOD NW continued to take the lead with the organisation after this. This initiative is distinct from previous work but builds on previous approaches.


This initiative contributes to the HSE 'influencing large employers' work stream as described in HSE51.

This is not a regulatory approach but is designed to influence and use the leverage of working with a large employer to:

  • encourage BAE to use their influence to improve standards in the supply chain,
  • maximise the efficient use of HSE resources,
  • ¬†encourage continuous improvement in health and safety management as part of corporate governance.

Following contact at Board level the initiative is managed by Manufacturing Sector and BAE Corporate Health and Safety department.

Outcomes so far include:

  • In April 2014 BAE, with the support of HSE, organised a supply chain conference to encourage and build a collaborative approach to raising and maintaining health and safety standards. Suppliers were encouraged to subsequently work with their suppliers to reach disparate SMEs. The event was attended by about 100 supplier companies with feedback showing commitment to taking further action. Surveys will be carried out to monitor actions taken.
  • Discussions with BAE on strategic occupational health risk management with HSE Medical and Occupational Hygiene specialists. Encouraging the development of leading indicators for long latency diseases.
  • Formation of a regulatory interventions group for Barrow site including FOD, CD, HID and ONR.

Further work is under discussion.

Any staff with suggestions for future work under this initiative should discuss them with the Manufacturing Sector contact.

This initiative does not change the targeting or undertaking of inspections, or the selection of investigations. However, discussion with the sector contact before and after inspections or investigations may help to contribute to effective regulatory intervention.

HID have an interest at a number of sites with COMAH enclaves and where explosives are manufactured and stored. ONR have an interest at sites dealing with nuclear powered submarines.


Two year Manufacturing Sector initiative starting April 2014.

Review in March 2016 will determine effectiveness and any future work.

Recording & Reporting

Manufacturing sector contacts are recorded on COIN case 4314115.

There are no special recording arrangements for operational staff.


Manufacturing Sector/Engineering Industries Team, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


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Updated 2020-12-15