About HSE in Scotland

Iain Brodie

Iain Brodie, Director, Scotland

In Scotland, HSE has staff based in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. Staff comprise a mixture of frontline general and construction inspectors, as well as chemicals industry and offshore inspectors and specialists who work across the whole of Britain. Policy and administrative staff are also based in Scotland working in HSE's sectors, corporate support and external engagement, for example, liaising with the Scottish government and supporting partnership activity with the Scottish health and safety community.

Scottish law and justice system

Health and safety law is the same across Great Britain but there is a major difference in how offenses are prosecuted in Scotland.  HSE inspectors report matters they have investigated and make recommendations on offences to the specialist Health and Safety Investigation Unit within the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), who decide whether or not to institute criminal proceedings in the public interest.

Health and Safety Partnership in Scotland

Through Partnership on Health and Safety in Scotland (PHASS), HSE works directly with Scottish organisations many of whom are independent or semi-independent of their English and Welsh equivalents and in some cases unique to Scotland. This supports HSE's Helping GB Work Well strategy in Scotland - in acting together with others to broaden ownership of health and safety.

PHASS was formed in 2005 to build on the close network of links in Scotland and in response to requests for a specifically Scottish forum on health and safety.   PHASS meets about three times a year holding at least one event for a wider group of partners from across the whole Scottish health and safety community.

Working with the Scottish government

Matters reserved to the UK parliament, like preventing work-related accidents and ill health, and matters devolved to Scotland such as employers' support for better public health and well- being, are closely linked.  The Scottish government therefore has the power and resources to act in many areas of HSE interest; equally, HSE's activities impact on the Scottish government's health and work programme. The Scottish government is also a major health and safety duty-holder itself, and funder of Scottish public and health services which altogether employ 1 in 5 of the working population in Scotland.  The Scottish government is therefore a key member of PHASS.

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Updated 2023-03-24