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Health and Safety Executive (Triennial Review)

Volume 573: debated on Thursday 9 January 2014

On 25 April 2013, the Minister for employment, my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Wirral West (Esther McVey), made a written statement to Parliament announcing the triennial review of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and that Martin Temple, chair of the EEF, would lead that review. I am pleased to announce the conclusion of the review and publication of Mr Temple’s report later today.

HSE is an Executive non-departmental public body (NDPB). It is the national, independent regulator for work-related safety and health. Its mission is the prevention of death, injury and ill health to those at work and those affected by work activities.

The review has concluded that the functions performed by HSE are still required and that it should be retained as a NDPB. Mr Temple has recommended that HSE build on its well-deserved international reputation and make more progress to grow its commercial income.

I welcome these recommendations, but want to go further to introduce reforms of HSE to ensure that it delivers value for money to the taxpayer, while ensuring safety for the nation. There is considerable potential for HSE to become more commercial in outlook and in delivery—increasing the pace of the work already started within the organisation.

Therefore, I have asked HSE to begin work immediately to examine commercial models for HSE in collaboration with HMT and the Cabinet Office, and to review the HSE board to ensure it has the right skills to oversee future efficiencies and commercial income-generating options. Some of the other recommendations require further consideration and therefore the Government will respond more fully later this year.

I will place a copy of the report of the triennial review of HSE in the House Library later today.