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How to use data sources: The Health and Safety Executive

This is about The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data, who can use it and how to use it.

This is part of Sapio Research’s series: 16 Useful Desk Research Sources and how to use them

What is it?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) helps shape and review regulations. It produces research and statistics about health and safety in Great Britain.

They provide statistical data on:

  • Work-related ill health and disease
  • Workplace injury
  • Enforcement of health and safety legislation
  • Working days and costs to Britain as a result and safety incidents
  • Working conditions and management of health and safety in the workplace

The HSE’s method of data collection and publication of their findings comply with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Thus, the HSE statistics are “Official Statistics”. 

The HSE collects its data from a range of sources:

  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)
    • All fatal and non-fatal injuries to workers and members of the public must be reported by employers.
  • The Labour Force Survey (LFS)
    • Run by the ONS, the LFS is a national survey of roughly 38,000 households every four months. The HSE annually includes questions in the LFS to gain a view of work-related illness and workplace injury.
  • Reports of ill health by doctors and specialist physicians (THOR-GP)
    • This information is gathered in surveillance schemes run by The Health and Occupations Reporting Network (THOR)
  • Ill health assessed for disablement benefit (IIDB)
    • These are cases of specified ‘prescribed diseases’, which are assessed for compensation under the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit scheme. IIDB statistics are available annually starting from 2003.
  • Death Certificates (DC)
    • This includes deaths from types of occupational lung disease, including asbestos-related diseases, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

The HSE uses their data to estimate how much workplace injuries and work-related ill health cost Britain. Their 2014/2015 figures show that 622,000 workers were injured in workplace accidents and on top of this figure 528,000 workers suffered a case of ill health that they believe to be caused by, or exacerbated by their work. The HSE estimated in total workplace illnesses cost Britain £14.1bn.

Who can use it? 

The HSE’s data could be made use of by business owners looking to revise workplace regulations, governments and local councils investigating new policy, and by students, academics and analysts as a research tool.

How to use it

To view the HSE statistics, start by heading to the “About HSE” section on their website.

Now, click view ‘HSE work’ on the navigation bar on the left-hand side of the screen.

Here you can view the research and statistics produced by the HSE

Navigate the various sectors that the HSE gathers data on using the side bar

Here you can see an overview of HSE findings or download a full version of their report.

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