The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has this week appointed a new chief inspector of construction as part of a wider management reshuffle within the organisation.
Heather Bryant, currently HSE divisional director for London, the East and South East, will take up the role at the end of March. She will lead a 260-strong team of specialist inspectors, policy officials and support staff.
She replaces Philip White who has been in the role for four years and who will move to run the operational strategy division, overseeing regulation of sectors such as waste and recycling, agriculture and manufacturing.
“The sector has already been making good progress in reducing the number of people killed, injured or made unwell by its activities,” said Bryant, who becomes HSE’s second female chief inspector of construction after Sandra Caldwell led the way more than a decade ago.
“We must continue that momentum,” she added. “I am looking forward to working with the whole industry to ensure that progress continues and our regulations are properly focused on dealing with real risks, not needless paperwork.”
Bryant stressed that, despite recent improvements, construction remains one of most dangerous industries in the UK. Last year 49 people were killed and 2,884 seriously injured on Britain’s construction sites.
Bryant will bring skills and experience gained since joining the HSE in 1987. She has worked as an inspector in construction, agriculture, engineering and manufacturing.