Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda

Memorandum by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE 25)

  1.  This memorandum responds to the invitation from the Environment Sub-Committee, to give evidence to its inquiry into the work of the Health and Safety Executive.


What is HSC/E

  2.  The modern system of health and safety at work in Great Britain dates from the Robens Committee report, and the subsequent passing of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA). Both the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are statutory Non-Departmental Public Bodies set up under the HSWA. They are accountable to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (the Secretary of State). The overall aim of both bodies is to ensure that risks to people's health and safety from work activity (including members of the public affected by those activities) are properly controlled.

  3.  The constitution of HSC and HSE is governed by the HSWA. HSC has overall responsibility for policy on health and safety at work and advice to Ministers including advice on standards and regulations necessary to secure them. The Chairman and members are appointed by the Secretary of State. The current Commission consists of the Chairman and nine members. Members are appointed after statutory consultation with representatives of: employers (three members), employees (three members) and other organisations concerned with health and safety including local authorities (LAs) and public interest (up to three members). Currently there is one Commissioner representing LAs and two representing the public interest. The Commission published a Strategic Plan, agreed with Ministers, and an annual report. These are placed in the House of Commons library. Copies have also been sent to the Committee.

  4.  The Executive is a separate statutory body and consists of a Director General and two other members appointed by the Commission after consultation with the Director General and approval by the Secretary of State. The Executive has power to appoint staff, subject to Ministerial consent as to numbers and terms and conditions of employment (the staff are civil servants). The Executive has a separate statutory responsibility for making adequate arrangements for the enforcement of HSWA and related legislation under guidance from HSC. The staff appointed by the Executive comprise "HSE", and they provide support to the Commission in the exercise of its policy and standard setting functions, as well as to the Executive for its enforcement responsibilities. HSE also has responsibility for a "Next Steps" Executive Agency—the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL).

  5.  Under the Devolution settlement, legislative responsibility for health and safety matters has been reserved to the Westminster Parliament.

What do HSC/E do?

  6.  HSC's principal functions are:

    —  advising Ministers on health and safety matters;

    —  defining standards and proposing legislation on health and safety matters: the Commission has a statutory duty to consult interested parties before proposing any legislative changes;

    —  making arrangements for the provision of information, advice and guidance;

    —  making arrangements for carrying out research; and

    —  giving guidance to enforcement authorities ie HSE and local authorities. The Commission is statutorily barred from involvement in individual cases of enforcement.

  7.  HSE's role is to enforce HSWA, relevant statutory provisions (Part 1 of HSWA, health and safety regulations and existing statutory provisions) and related legislation (for example, the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations 1992 and The Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986), and to undertake tasks delegated to it by HSC. Its main functions are:

    —  advising and assisting HSC on policy on health and safety, defining standards of health and safety and proposing necessary changes to the law;

    —  inspecting work places to secure compliance;

    —  investigating accidents, cases of ill-health and complaint;

    —  taking formal enforcement action (which can involve issuing statutory improvement or prohibition notices or prosecuting duty holders where necessary);

    —  providing advice and information to employers, workers and the public;

    —  licensing and approving standards and arrangements in areas of significant hazard;

    —  commissioning and carrying out research for HSC; and

    —  providing scientific and technological expertise to underpin the Commission's and Executive's functions.

  8.  HSE enforces in over 650,000 establishments, such as factories, farms, mines, nuclear and offshore installations and transient activities, such as construction sites and fairgrounds. LAs are responsible for enforcement in about 1.3 million mainly lower-risk premises, such as offices, shops, restaurants, residential care homes and entertainment activities, allocated to them by regulation. HSC has given guidance to LAs on their conduct of enforcement functions.

Strategic Plan

  9.  HSC's current Strategic Plan sets out five Continuing Aims. These are:

    —  Aim  1:  To modernise, simplify and support the regulatory framework, including European Union and other international work.

    —  Aim  2:  To secure compliance with the law in line with the principles of proportionality, consistency, transparency and targeting on a risk-related basis.

    —  Aim  3:  To improve the knowledge and understanding of health and safety through the provision of appropriate (and timely) information and advice.

    —  Aim  4:  To promote risk assessment and technological knowledge as the basis for setting standards and guiding enforcement activities.

    —  Aim  5:  To operate statutory schemes, including regulatory services, through, for example, the Employment Medical Advisory Service.

  10.  For the first time, this year the Plan also identifies five strategic themes; that is, major issues to be tackled over the long term which provide a focus for many of HSE's outputs and which constitute a wider agenda to which all those involved in the health and safety system can contribute. Each theme is underpinned by a number of key programmes, which have clear targets. The current themes are:

    (i)  To raise the profile of occupational health: the aim is to make a significant impact on the extent and severity of work-related ill-health and other related occupational health issues. Key programmes are the development of a long-term occupational health strategy; the Good Health is Good Business campaign and preventing and managing musculoskeletal disorders.

    (ii)  To improve health and safety performance in key risk areas: to work in partnership with external stakeholders in important areas of industry/economic activity where there is a high risk of injury, ill-health or fatality and to agreed targets designed to reduce these risks. Key programmes concern asbestos, construction, agriculture, gas safety and the millennium bug.

    (iii)  To develop health and safety aspects of the competitiveness and social equality agendas: to contribute to substainability by demonstrating the contribution which good health and safety practice makes to improved business competitiveness, reduced social exclusion and better social equality; by promoting a better quality work environment with a more productive workforce; and by looking at how issues such as designed-in safety can contribute to the quality and thus the competitiveness of products. Key programmes this year concern the management of health and safety in small firms; the provision of adequate welfare facilities; access to occupational health support.

    (iv)  To increase the engagement of others and promote full participation in improving health and safety: HSC/E already work closely with other government departments and agencies, local authorities, employers and their organisations, trade unions and a wide range of intermediaries. Key programmes are to secure more effective employee participation in improving health and safety; and to develop the partnership between HSE and local authorities to maximise their collective contribution.

    (v)  To improve our openness and accountability: openness is critical to HSC/E's effectiveness and reputation. Key programmes are preparing for the Freedom of Information Act, implementation of the Data Protection Act, adopting Service First principles and engaging stakeholders in risk-based decision making.


  11.  The following table details HSC/E's financial provision:

£ thousand
1998-99 Supplementary Estimate
2000-01 (planned)
2001-02 (planned)

Running Costs
Capital expenditure
Other current expenditure
Gross total
Health and Safety Laboratory
  (HSL) (net)
Net grant in aid


  The figures include recoverable VAT on contracted-out running costs services.

  The Health and Safety Commission and Executive's gross running costs limit 1999-2000 is £169,898 thousand (running costs less recoverable VAT of £2,477 thousand).

  A more detailed analysis is given in the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions' 1999 Annual Report.

  12.  Total staff (full time equivalent, and including HSL) at 1 April 1999 was 3,880. The total number of inspectors at 1 April 1999 was 1,497.

Outputs and performance

  13.  Information on HSC/E planned outputs is at Annex 1 in the HSC Strategic Plan 1999-2002. Attached to this memorandum at Annex 1 is HSC/E's Output and Performance Analysis report for 1998-99. This will appear in the Annual Report to be published on 25 October.

Current initiatives which may have an impact on the work of HSC/E

  14.  In May 1999 the Deputy Prime Minister announced his intention to take forward a strategic appraisal of health and safety to mark the 25th anniversary of HSWA. He indicated that it was not intended to revisit the basic structures of the Act, but rather to inject new impetus and relaunch the health and safety agenda. The aim is to reduce the rate of workplace accidents and ill-health still further, crucially by working with all stakeholders to demonstrate that a healthy, well-protected workforce is not only right, but is good for business and good for society.

  15.  In July a public consultation document "Revitalising Health and Safety" was launched jointly by DETR and the Health and Safety Commission, seeking responses by 24 September. Over 600 responses have been received by DETR so far. An announcement of the outcome of the appraisal will follow in due course.

  16.  HSC/E have also been closely involved in DETR's Transport Safety Review. This Review could potentially lead to changes in the arrangements for regulating transport safety and in the way that transport accident investigation is carried out. Any such changes could have significant implications for the scope of HSC/E's work.


What are the current figures and trends in fatal injuries?

  17.  The number of fatal injuries to all workers (employees and self-employed combined) is expected to fall to 257 in 1998-99 compared with 274 in 1997-98. This number is one of the lowest in the past 10 years. There is a statistically significant downward trend in the fatal injury incidence rate over this period. In 1998-99, the rate is expected to remain at 1.0 per hundred thousand workers compared with 1.2 five years ago and 1.8 in 1989-90.

  18.  The trend in the fatal injury rate for employees over the last 10 years is downward and statistically significant. In 1998-99, the rate is expected to fall to 0.8 per hundred thousand, compared with 0.9 in 1997-98 and 1.7 in 1989-90. Fatal injury rates for the self-employed have fluctuated each year since 1989-90 ranging between 1.5 and 3.3 per hundred thousand. In 1998-99 the rate is expected to be 1.9 compared with 1.8 in 1997-98.

  19.  Since 1991-92, the rate of fatal injury in agriculture has fluctuated with no significant trend. A similar situation can be seen in manufacturing although the rates are much lower. However, in construction and in the service sector there are statistically significant downward trends from 1991-92. Figures for the last five years are given in the table below.


Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing
Extraction and utility supply
All industries


ef  Estimated final figures

  20.  The total number of fatal injuries to members of the public is expected to drop from 393 in 1997-98 to 368 in 1998-99. Injuries reported to HSE's HM Railway Inspectorate (RI) from 1996-97 onwards (including those resulting from acts of trespass or suicide on railways) were previously reportable under separate railway legislation and not under RIDDOR. If these are excluded, the trend in the number of fatal injuries over the past eight years is downward and statistically significant.

Railway statistics

  21.  The trend in the number of fatal injuries over the past eight years is downward and statistically significant and there has also been a general, improving trend in railway safety. Provisional figures for 1998-99, published in HSE's Railway Safety Statistics Bulletin in August, show that there were no passengers killed in a train accident, there was a 25 per cent reduction in fatalities overall, excluding trespassers and suicides, and train accidents fell overall by 7 per cent.

  22.  However, HSC/E is disappointed at some of the statistics, such as increases in the number of significant train accidents, trains passing red signals, broken rails and violence to staff.

  23.  Action is already in hand to address all of these issues. Details of some examples can be found atparagraph 28 of this memorandum.

What was HSE's response to and progress on the recommendations set out in the Committee report on Railway Safety (HC30)

  24.  HSE's response to HC30 is attached at Annex 2. Progress on the key recommendations and further initiatives is as follows:

Managing the activities of contractors: Recommendations 1 and 3

  25.  How Railtrack manages and monitors the work of its contractors remain key priorities for RI. They are given a high profile during inspection activities and in regular liaison meetings with the industry.

  26.  HSE is very conscious of the challenges which many industries face due to increasing contractorisation. In addition to RI's ongoing work in monitoring the management of contractors HSE is soon to begin an evaluation of the Railways (Safety Case) Regulations 1994 which will consider, among other things, whether the Regulations deal adequately with contractors on the railways.

Railtrack's Safety and Standards Directorate: Recommendation 2

  27.  HSC will shortly be considering an interim report following a review by HSE of the role of Railtrack's Safety and Standards Directorate. HSC is aiming to submit the interim HSE report to Ministers in the Autumn.

Removal of Mark 1 rolling stock and installation of train protection systems:  Recommendations 5, 6 and 7

  28.  The Deputy Prime Minister recently signed new Railway Safety Regulations requiring the removal of Mark 1 rolling stock by 1 January 2003 and the installation of a train protection system by 1 January 2004, as proposed by HSC. HSE has maintained close contact throughout with the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority and OPRAF in agreeing deadlines for the withdrawal of modified rolling stock. As proposed in the earlier response to the Transport Sub-committee, the new Regulations require a programme for the installation of train protection to be agreed with HSE within six months. The programme must be fully implemented and operational on 1 January 2004.

Trespass and Vandalism: Recommendation 8

  29.  Following on from the publication of the guide "Prevention of Trespass and Vandalism on Railways" in December 1998, work continues in the form of a conference to share good practice, an industry sponsored publicity video and a "branding" that will be used on subsequent initiatives to warn about the dangers of trespass and vandalism.

Accident inquiries and publication of reports: Recommendation 10

  30.  HSC has reiterated its concerns over delays to accident inquiries and to the publication of reports in its response to DETR's Transport Safety Review. HSC looks forward to participating further in the Review's work on this difficult issue.

What is the position with regard to white, and other types of asbestos?

  31.  In September 1998, HSC consulted on banning white (chrysotile) asbestos. At the same time, the Government was pressing for a European-wide ban. Since then Regulations have been laid which ban the importation of chrysotile into the UK, and its supply and use in GB except for a few safety critical applications where no safe substitutes for chrysotile exist. The Asbestos (Prohibitions) (Amendment) Regulations take effect from 24 November this year, five years ahead of the deadline set by the EU Directive which prohibits the marketing and use of white asbestos.

  32.  But Britain is still a long way from being asbestos free and asbestos which remains in place, generally in the fabric of buildings, must be managed properly. Later this year HSC plans to consult on introducing a duty into the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987 to require those in control of workplace premises to manage the risks from asbestos.

What influence does HSC/E have in Europe to shape standards?

  33.  HSC/E play an active and constructuve role in Europe, in particular to influence legislative requirements agreed by the Council of Minsters on the basis of proposals from the European Commission (EC). This is achieved by a high level of informal and formal involvement with the EC and the health and safety authorities in other Member States, to explain the UK position and influence the shape of proposals. Recent examples of HSE's involvement include:

    —  aiding the negotiation of specific worker protection dossiers on explosive atmospheres, physical agents and working at heights/scaffolding;

    —  negotiations related to the proposed ban on white asbestos;

    —  contributing to the EC chemicals review; and

    —  maintaining contact on the developing EC study of rail safety.

  34.  HSE plays a full part on the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work, the EC's Senior Labour Inspectors' Committee and the Bilbao-based European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

  35.  HSC/E are also active in influencing the development of European legislation on product safety (often called "New Approach" Directives) and supporting technical standards, including working closely with the Department of Trade and Industry (which leads on these Directives for the UK as they are primarily aimed at creating a single market for products in the European Economic Area). Good product standards for machinery and pressure equipment are vital to achieving acceptable standards for the safety of users.

  36.  These Directives are underpinned by technical standards developed by the European standards bodies (CEN and CENELEC). More detailed "technical" documents produced by national, European and international standards bodies are useful guidance for designers, suppliers and manufacturers of work equipment.

  37.  Over the last 10-15 years most standardisation work has moved from being a national to being a predominantly European and international activity. This trend has been fostered by the role that standards play in support of Single Market Directives. HSE makes a major contribution to this work, devoting about 30 person years to standards development in relation to equipment important to health and safety by technical input to the committees and working parties at European and international levels.

What role does HSE have in Environmental affairs?

  38.  HSC/E do not have direct policy responsibility for environmental protection, though they are of course involved with environmental health—ie protection of the public directly affected by work activities. HSE is also involved in environmental protection in two main ways. First, the Executive will identify in Regulatory Impact Assessments any major environmental issues arising from new legislative proposals. Second, in certain areas HSE, by agreement, enforces law that has environmental implications. This may lead to wider involvement, for example, by publishing guidance relating to environmental matters.

  39.  Major areas where HSE has an involvement in environmental issues include chemicals, pesticides and nuclear safety. Further information on action in these areas can be provided if the Committee would like.

  40.  There is some legislation which HSE enforces jointly with Environment Agency (EA) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). An example is the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH), as Joint Competent Authority. There is good co-operation and consultation between HSE, EA and SEPA. Detailed systems and procedures have been developed to ensure planned inspection programmes are co-ordinated and targeted.

  41.  Strong working relationships also exist between HSE and EA on areas of mutual interest such as relevant national laws, negotiation of underlying EC Directives and activities to progress global environmental commitments arising from the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 (Agenda 21). In addition, EA is involved with DETR and HSE in the joint Competent Authorities for the Notification of New Substances Regulations (NONS) and the Existing Substances Regulations (ESR).

  42.  The day-to-day working relationship between HSE and EA is established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which recognises the environmental interfaces. It clearly describes the overarching framework for liaison, sets the boundaries and ensures effective co-ordination and co-operation. It is subject to yearly review. There is also a MOU between HSE and SEPA. There are more detailed supplementary MOUs on COMAH, radioactive substances and nuclear licensed sites.

  43.  HSE and EA also hold regular bilateral meetings at senior level to discuss overlapping policy issues and any areas where there are policy disagreements.

How does the insurance industry impact on health and safety?

  44.  There are two main ways the insurance industry can impact on health and safety in work standards:

    —  by providing financial incentives to improve health and safety standards;

    —  by providing compensation for employees who suffer injury or harm through work.

  45.  HSE seeks to encourage the industry to penalise bad performance and reward good performance through premiums and insurance conditions. Many insurance companies have arrangements to help customers improve their overall risk management and their health and safety management. The challenge for the industry is to get more small and medium-size firms to take advantage of these services, as there is less scope for offering premium reductions to this group. Other ways in which insurers can work with their customers to reward good health and safety management include:

    —  helping firms to develop tools to measure performance;

    —  channelling information on risks to those taking out insurance and sharing health and safety performance information;

    —  contributing ideas about training and standards of competence as well as standards of machinery and equipment.

  More generally, civil claims for damages and compensation, normally dealt with through the insurance industry, can influence employers' attitudes to risk and prevention eg on passive smoking, stress, RSI.

Is the balance of HSE's work right?

Balancing regulatory impact and proportionality of response

  46.  HSC/E need to balance a number of objectives:

    —  the expectations of Ministers and the public that risks will be properly controlled, and work-related accidents and ill-health prevented;

    —  expectations that appropriate action will be taken when prevention fails—against those who put lives at risk;

    —  expectations that business will not be hampered by unnecessary burdens, inconsistent standards or disproportionate requirements for action.

  47.  HSE employs a variety of methods to achieve these objectives, including:

    —  carrying out Regulatory Impact Assessments for all proposals for new health and safety law;

    —  simplifying and clarifying health and safety law and guidance, including providing simple, practical guidance for small firms on key areas of risk;

    —  ensuring the enforcement regime is consistent, proportionate, transparent and targeted;

    —  cutting red tape by removing unnecessary forms and paperwork requirements;

    —  increasing regulatory contacts with business (this includes all categories of operational contacts—over 75 per cent of inspectors' time is spent in direct contact with business and related activities).

  48.  In 1994 HSC completed a comprehensive Review of Regulation, requested by Ministers at the then Employment Department, to remove any unnecessary burdens on business as part of the Government's wider Deregulation Initiative. The recommendations were fully implemented by 1998 and have involved a series of actions and initiatives to improve the way the health and safety system is regulated.

  49.  "The Better Regulation Task Force Report on Enforcement", published in April 1999, reviewed and made recommendations on good enforcement practice. A number of its recommendations drew on HSE experience and good practice. It recognised HSC/E's achievements in regulating health and safety at work effectively, including the well developed mechanism for liaison between HSE and LAs. It also included a good practice checklist for regulators, with which HSC/E's regulatory practice already complied.

Proactive versus preventative action and response to complaints

  50.  HSE intervenes at the workplace and with duty holders in a number of ways: proactive inspections; reactive investigations of accidents and complaints; advisory work; educational and promotional visits; and enforcement through issuing notices or initiating and taking prosecutions. HSE's biggest programme, forming about half of all regulatory contacts a year, is proactive inspection. Its purpose is to identify deficiencies and have them put right before accidents occur.

  51.  Accident investigations form about a quarter of all regulatory contacts. All fatalities are investigated, but overall less than 6 per cent of major accidents reported are investigated. There is some public expectation that HSE should investigate more accidents, because accidents which are not investigated may result in potential offenders escaping punishment. At present HSE plans to increase the number of investigations from 1999-2000 to 2001-02 by about 3 per cent. But any major increase beyond that would seriously reduce the number of preventive inspections and detract from the primary objective of ensuring that risks are properly controlled and that incidents do not occur. HSE believes that a balanced programme, comprising all the elements described in para 50, is needed to secure improvements in health and safety on a continuing basis. The balance of inspection and investigation work has to be kept under continuing review.

  52.  Complaints about working conditions reported to HSE have increased by 40 per cent since 1995. All are assessed for investigation against criteria such as potential of the circumstances to cause harm and the nature of the risk. Typically HSE investigates some 80 per cent of complaints received. This is planned to rise with the introduction of new administrative systems to handle complaints more efficiently and effectively. HSE has procedures for contacting complainants, to let them know the outcome of investigations, and for dealing with complaints about HSE's actions. HSE undertakes regular customer satisfaction surveys to identify its level of performance and the ways in which the service can be improved.

  53.  The elements of LA work programmes are similar to HSE's. Preventive inspections account for 66 per cent of their regulatory contacts a year and they investigate about half of the accidents reported to them, and over 90 per cent of complaints received. The number of complaints to LAs increased by about 34 per cent between 1995 and 1998.

  54.  Over 20 per cent more improvement and prohibition notices have been issued this year compared to last. We do not set targets for issuing notices, but we expect the upward trend to continue.

  55.  HSC has long been concerned that the general level of penalties imposed by the Courts does not match the real seriousness of health and safety offences, which can and do sometimes lead to terrible injury, ill-health and death. Ministers and the HSC have welcomed the important November 1998 judgement in R v F Howe and Son (Engineers) Ltd in which the Appeal Court said straightforwardly that health and safety fines are too low. The decision of the Court of Appeal has resulted in a greater number of cases being committed to the Crown Court for sentence—13 in the first three months of 1999. The case provided the first clarification of the correct approach to sentencing for health and safety offences and a basis for inspectors drawing sentencing matters to the Court's attention. However, HSC continues to be concerned that the level of penalties for breaches of health and safety at work law is too low and intends to continue work, with Ministers and other authorities, to press this view.


Key outputs and quality measures
1998-99 Outturn
1998-99 Plan
1997-98 Outturn

Regulatory contacts, including inspections and investigations, with employers and duty holders
Incidents/complaints investigated
Per cent high hazard/risk workplaces receiving annual inspection contact (excludes CHID and RI who use an alternative systematic appraisal of hazards/risks)
Per cent reported events (injuries/incidents) investigated
Per cent complaints (about work activities) investigated
Per cent prosecutions resulting in convictions
Number of enforcement notices issued
Number of prosecutions
Per cent inspector time spent on site/contact and related activities (as proportion of total time available)

What are the proposed arrangements to relocate the Health and Safety Laboratory to Buxton?

  56.  The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) was established as an in-house Agency of HSE on 1 April 1995. It provides wide-ranging scientific research and technical support services to HSE. It is required to operate commercially and it has to compete with others in the public and private sectors for much of the work it carries out for HSE. It also undertakes work for other public and private organisations in the UK and overseas. Turnover is around £21 million with about £2 million being non-HSE work. Some 350 staff are employed and it operates from sites in Buxton and Sheffield.

  57.  HSL has about twice as much accommodation as it needs. Much of it is old and inefficient (both operationally and in terms of energy consumption, maintenance etc). Further inefficiencies stem from operating on two sites and the need for substantial inter-site travel. To address these deficiencies, and in line with Government policy, HSL is investigating the use of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to provide a cost-effective solution to HSL's accommodation and service provision needs for the future. Two PFI bidders both proposed a full reprovision of all HSL's accommodation needs onto the Buxton site. One of these has been selected as Preferred Bidder and negotiations are underway to develop a value for money deal for submission to ministers during the year 2000. The value for money assessment includes a comparison between the proposed PFI solution and a publicly financed solution. Planning permission was recently granted by High Peak Borough Council, subject to the development of a section 106 agreement covering off-site access and Green Transport issues. High quality alternative use of the vacated Sheffield site which is expected to create good employment opportunities is also part of the proposals.

Environmental Impacts

  58.  Work activities: HSL already has an environmental policy in place and is developing a full Environmental Management System along the lines of that defined in ISO14000. Environmental assessments are undertaken before new work activities are commenced. A laboratory-wide Environmental Aspects and Impact Review is nearing completion—modelled on proposals promulgated by DETR—and this will form the baseline against which environmental improvements can be targeted and assessed.

  59.  Building Design: the new building at Buxton will be constructed to achieve a BREEAM rating of Very Good/Excellent and will also meet, in full, the requirements of the local authority's Environmental Health Officer. Specifically, this will mean that the building will be to an energy-efficient design (minimising the need for air conditioning, for example); air discharges from the laboratories will meet the latest environmental standards; the on-site effluent plant will be replaced by main drainage; noise emissions will be tightly controlled, especially for out-of-hours.

  60.  Green Transport Issues: HSL has prepared a Green Transport Plan as part of the planning application. This identifies measures to encourage staff to avoid single-occupancy car journeys (car sharing, improve public transport, cycling [already a greater percentage of staff cycle to work at Buxton than the national average] etc).

  61.  A staff relocation package is being negotiated with HSL's Trade Unions which is specifically designed to encourage Sheffield-based staff to move into or very close to Buxton, and therefore to reduce as far as possible cross-Peak Park commuting. The single site will eliminate up to 20 inter-site return journeys per day.

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Prepared 26 October 1999