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HSE responds to letter in The Herald that asserts “UK onshore health and safety regulation and enforcement are in meltdown”

Date:
3 November 2014

Dear Editor

I do not recognise the health and safety system that Andrew Watterson describes in his letter about helicopter safety (Only a public enquiry can properly scrutinise helicopter safety, The Herald, October 29), in which he bolts on a gratuitous assertion that health and safety regulation and enforcement in Scotland is in meltdown.

This week the Health and Safety Executive published statistics that demonstrated that Great Britain has a health and safety performance which is one of the best in the world.

He is, however, correct on one point.  Because of that, many countries want to emulate our goal-setting model and we are happy to help them.  If, in doing so, we generate revenue which we can re-invest into our regulatory activities (which is the objective), this can only benefit our work across Great Britain and support our ongoing desire to improve and innovate.

The current offshore regime is a good example. When the EU was considering how best to respond to the challenges that emerged after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico it turned to our system to develop a regime to apply across Europe.

Barry Baker

Acting head of operations (Scotland)

Health and Safety Executive

[This letter was published by The Herald on 3 November 2014]