Statement of commitment between: Local Authority and HSE Regulatory Services
This ‘Statement of Commitment’ (SoC) has been discussed, developed and agreed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authority (LA) representative bodies across GB including HELA and the Practitioner’s Forum (PF).
The SoC has been endorsed by the Local Government Association (LGA), the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland (SOCOEHS).
Councillors, Chief Executives and Heads of Regulatory Services in LA’s are also encouraged to publicly commit to the SoC and embed the principles within their service plans.
This joint statement of commitment (SoC), agreed by local authority (LA) representative bodies and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in March 2019, sets out our shared vision for an ongoing LA/HSE co-regulatory partnership. Ensuring LAs and HSE work together as effective, modern and professional regulators - delivering the positive benefits of efficient, world leading workplace health and safety, to achieve:
- Sustainable arrangements for the enforcement of work related health and safety.
- Established joint working arrangements resulting in effective engagement, consultation and communication.
- Consistency of high quality regulation across HSE and LA enforced businesses.
This shared SoC is aimed at Councillors, LA Chief Executives (CEs) and their Heads of Regulatory Services. It outlines how LA senior managers and the HSE will work together, to achieve sustainable future delivery of effective workplace health and safety enforcement in Great Britain.
LAs are a key part of the health and safety system in Great Britain (GB). They have a statutory duty under Section 18 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ‘make adequate provision’ for health and safety enforcement in their area, as set out in the ‘National LA Enforcement Code’ (the Code).
LAs enforce workplace health and safety in two thirds of all business premises, around half of the total GB workforce. LAs predominately cover the retail, consumer services, entertainment and warehousing/supply chain sectors.
Currently failures in the management of health and safety in LA enforced business sectors result in around 10 deaths, 5000 major injuries and over 100,000 new cases of ill health a year. Many of those harmed are members of the public/children, or vulnerable workers not provided with reasonable workplace protection.
HSE provides national direction via the the Code and its supporting documentation e.g. annually updated targeting advice supports LAs to develop locally responsive sustainable delivery plans, using the most current intelligence and regulatory practice. Effective management of health and safety brings direct benefits to the local community, by:
- Reducing work related death, injuries and ill health.
- Reducing the need for local public health and support for those recovering from injury and ill health.
- Reducing the rate of business failure due to business outages caused by incidents and harm to staff, or the loss of reputation.
This SoC was developed as part of the on-going work of the strategic group overseeing the HSE / LA co- regulatory partnership (HELA) and the supporting Practitioner’s Forum. It also has the endorsement of the LGA , WLGA and SoCOEHS and recognises that:
- LAs must target and prioritise regulatory resources to meet their legal duty to enforce health and safety;
- Continued delivery of effective co-regulation will require ongoing evolution in both the LA and HSE approaches to regulatory delivery, and
- The HSE and LA co-regulatory partnership plays a vital role in delivering the ‘Help GB Work Well’ strategy.
Joint LA/HSE Commitments to Targeted Sustainable Health and Safety Enforcement
What LAs & HSE will do together as co-regulatory partners to #HelpGBworkwell
LAs & HSE will provide an effective regulatory framework by:
- Sharing information, to make sure we take decisions on the best available evidence.
- Delivering risk based, targeted frontline interventions.
- Maintaining liaison and effective two-way communication via joint representation at county liaison groups as well as the joint LA/HSE HELA and Practitioner forums.
LAs & HSE will secure effective management and control of risk by:
LAs & HSE will lead and engage with others to improve workplace health and safety by:
- Promoting the benefits of proportionate health and safety in their frontline engagement.
- Working together as co-regulatory partners to influence businesses as part of a national strategy.
- Using the latest in behavioural insight to develop new ways to change business behaviour.
What Local Authorities will do as independent co-regulators to #HelpGBworkwell
LAs will provide an effective regulatory framework by:
- Providing the competency, capacity, resource and support to fulfil their delivery plans.
- Working with other LAs to peer review activities and promote better health and safety outcomes.
LAs will secure effective management and control of risk by:
- Developing and implementing local delivery plans which clearly link to national and local priorities.
- Using national and local intelligence to effectively target poor performing sectors.
- Annually reporting their health and safety enforcement activity to HSE.
LAs will lead and engage with others to improve workplace health and safety by:
- Leading and engaging with their local business community to promote health and safety priorities and adopting the “Better Business for All” approach where relevant and sustainable.
- Sharing relevant local intelligence with HSE to inform the national perspective.
- Championing their role as health and safety regulators.
What HSE will do as the national policy lead and a co-regulator to #HelpGBworkwell
HSE will provide an effective regulatory framework by:
- Reviewing the effectiveness of GB’s occupational health and safety system.
- Providing LA regulators with access to topic specific materials and technical / forensic support.
- Monitoring and reporting on LA regulatory activity to the HSE’s Board and other stakeholders.
HSE will secure effective management and control of risk by:
- Setting national regulatory priorities and the overarching strategic direction.
- Sharing expertise, practice and supporting materials to promote consistent/proportionate regulation.
- Supporting LAs to develop effective intervention plans by providing targeting guidance based upon up-to-date information and intelligence via targeting guidanceiii which accompanies the Code.
HSE will lead and engage with others to improve workplace health and safety by:
- Co-ordinating national engagement and promotion of proportionate health and safety and using feedback from LAs to inform the development of national priorities in the LA enforced sectors.
- Providing support for LA local and national regulatory liaison and industry sector working groups.
- Championing the LA role as health and safety regulator.