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Role of the HSE

Health & Safety

NCE's survey revealed a wide spread of views among construction professionals over precisely what the Health & Safety Executive's role should be. Results showed a split between enforcing legislation (41%) and education (43%) with smaller numbers supporting the prosecution role.

However, 72% of respondents did agree that the HSE should do more to help the design industry understand what it needs to do.

The HSE's view is that it does what it can and there is much advice on its website.

'But the industry needs to develop a sense that we should all be responsible for health and safety rather than it is someone else's responsibility, ' HSE construction division chief inspector Kevin Myers says.

But the view from the Strategic Forum is that the HSE is not, and never should be, an educator - the industry should not be 'nannied'.

'HSE should make people aware of the issues and point out where the problems are and enforce the legislation, ' says Strategic Forum chairman Peter Rogers.

'But the industry should solve the problems for itself.'

Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke thinks the HSE does have role to play in education, particularly of designers. 'Look at the Fire Brigade, ' he says. 'It has moved from just putting out fires to fire protection and education. It's a fundamental change of the business model that the HSE could follow.

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