The Health and Safety Laboratory

The Health and Safety Laboratory

08th May 2015

The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) is an agency of the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and employs more than 350 scientific, medical and technical specialists in a bid to help make working environments and working lives safer here in the UK.  The HSL is one of the world’s leading providers of health and safety solutions to industry, government and professional bodies with its main focus on understanding and reducing health and safety risks.  The HSL offers consultancy and advisory services, specialist training and products and carries out health and safety research.  The agency also carries out investigations on behalf of the HSE and brings together a range of disciplines and teams in order to create practical, useful and innovative solutions to help make Britain safer for all of us.

The construction industry can be a risky industry in which to work and the HSL can offer employers unique advice and solutions to help manage workplace hazards.  The agency is able to:

  • Monitor and assess exposure to a range of hazards, including chemicals, microbes, noise and vibrations.
  • Offer expert advice on sample collection and assist in determining exactly what should be measured.
  • Provide specialist analytical expertise, including site investigations, asbestos surveys and environmental monitoring.
  • Test protective clothing and equipment to determine whether it is fit for purpose.
  • Test respiratory equipment and advice on the most effective methods of air extraction.
  • Evaluate the workplace, equipment or personnel problems with a particular emphasis on ergonomics, working at height and the slip rise of both flooring and footwear.

Managing risks on the type of floor surfaces at your premises.

Recommendations on the best type of footwear, flooring or combination of both for the job and the working environment.

Carrying out risk assessments, such as slip risks and risk of falls from stairs, ladders and vehicles.

Assessment of the slip resistance of footwear and evaluation of the slipperiness of your flooring.

Guidance on the design of new stairs, or the improvement of existing stairs to reduce the risk of falls.

While only about 5% of employees in the UK work in the construction industry, this sector accounts for 27% of work related fatalities and 10% of all reported major injuries.  However, the HSL is dedicated to improving safety within the construction industry and is uniquely placed to understand why accidents happen on building sites and how they can be prevented.  A multi-disciplinary team will work with you to ensure that the solutions you choose comply with current legislation and follow best practice.