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HSE showcases latest scientific research achievements

20 February 2014

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its sixth annual Science Report highlighting the year’s achievements in science and engineering research.

The report reveals the breadth of work undertaken by the Health and Safety Laboratory, HSE’s principle provider of forensic support, HSE’s own analysts and contractors – more than 500 projects in total – which are aimed putting science at the heart of efforts to improve management of work-related risks. Highlights this year include:

  • A survey of pesticide usage – an ongoing piece of research that will monitor the long-term health of people who work with pesticides.
  • An incident analysis of mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs) – a report that looked at accidents involving the platforms in the UK and abroad to identify key factors that contributed to them.
  • The causation, exposure and impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on workers – the first study of its kind on occupational lung disease, working with the University of California that has led to HSL researchers being recognised as international experts on this issue.
  • Other achievements noted include HSE and HSL staff being presented with awards such as the IChemE Frank Lees medal, a Police Divisional Commanders Award and a 150th anniversary prize from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Director of Science, Engineering and Analysis at HSE, Dave Bench, said: "HSE is a strongly scientific and evidence-based organisation with a quarter of its staff being qualified scientists or engineers. "Our scientific activities enable us to gather evidence, identify and develop practical solutions, and monitor and evaluate their success in helping Britain to remain one of the safest places in the world to work. The ability to anticipate and evaluate future challenges is critical to maintaining HSE’s position as a forward thinking regulator.”

The Science Report 2014 has been published on HSE’s website at www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/meetings/hseboard/2014/290114/pjanb1406.pdf