30th July 2018

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) business plan for 2018/19 includes revised guidance for employers to assess and manage mental ill health, a new guide on how to implement ISO 45001 proportionately, and efforts to improve the reporting and transparency of safety performance in high-hazard sectors.

The plan, which maps out action over the next 12 months, identifies four priority areas.

Under leading and engaging with others to improve OSH, the HSE plans to deliver the next phase of the Health and Work programme, with a focus on work-related stress, reducing levels of occupational lung disease and musculoskeletal disorders.

In Q4, the HSE says it will publish revised guidance for employers on how to assess and manage work-related mental ill health, which includes links to the new mental healthcare standards.

Repeated from last year’s plan, and under the priority to provide an effective regulatory framework, the HSE says it will work with stakeholders to share learning on “blue tape” issues and identify ways to promote proportionality in the system. In Q3, it plans to publish new guidance, which will show duty holders how to implement ISO 45001 proportionately and will set out sensible use of [the] accreditation scheme.

As a third priority, the HSE will act to reduce the likelihood of low frequency but high-impact catastrophic incidents by improving the reporting and transparency of safety performance in high-hazard sectors.

In Q3, it will publish performance data for the control of major accident hazards (COMAH) sector on its website and will also deliver an onshore sector emergency exercise. In Q4, it will require 20% of the onshore oil and gas operators to publish OSH performance indicators. As part of its continuous improvement of the planning process for the COMAH sector, the HSE will also begin to produce three-to-five-year intervention strategies for each COMAH site. In Q4, it will also produce a three-year intervention strategy for 60% of COMAH operations.

The HSE also plans to deliver a programme of targeted interventions, which will concentrate on controlling high-consequence risks from legionella, fairgrounds and major construction projects. In Q3, the regulator plans to focus on the control of public safety risks, including those associated with travelling fairs and fixed theme parks.

The UK’s OSH regulator says it will deliver around 20,000 proactive inspections, which will involve major campaigns targeting priority issues in high-risk industries, which have been identified in the HSE’s sector plans and health and work strategy.

It plans to deliver five major campaigns, each with at least 500 inspections, supported by media campaigns, covering metal fabrication; agriculture; waste and recycling; food manufacturing; and construction refurbishment.

The plan reveals that the forecasted taxpayer-funded income over the next 12 months will be £130.6m, which marks a reduction from £135.6m in 2017-18. Its expenditure is forecast as £228m, which means the HSE will need to generate £97m from other sources.

The regulator has identified the establishment of four new shared research projects in Q3 as one possible future revenue stream.

Source: Iosh Magazine