The history of the HSE
Health and Safety at work are one of the most fundamental elements that we all expect. The ability to work in an environment that is secure and safe for us is something that we all take for granted. However, this was not always the case. Profit was above people, and factory and mine owners, in particular, were not concerned with the welfare of the workers. With the work of the Unions and workers themselves, Governments began to take responsibility via created authorities to bring Employers in line. This was the Health and Safety executive. It deals with subjects like COSHH, which includes handling chemicals and using Spill Kits.
The beginnings of HSE started with the creation of the Home office experimentation centre in 1911. This was the first genuine attempt by the Government to understand how mines could be made safer for those working in them. The following key date is after the war in 1928. The building of a mines safety laboratory in Sheffield so as to be near the coal fields and an Institute at Buxton. This then became the site of a major conference on the subject.
It was not until 1974 that the Health and Safety Executive was created as part of the Government Act. Soon a raft of legislation and changes to the world of work. The HSE was reactive to several incidents, such as the Kings Cross station underground fire and the incidents at Hillsborough football ground.