The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today published the latest
statistics on workplace safety, work-related ill-health and
Highlights 2001/02 presents the top level statistics, while more
detailed data and commentary are available on the HSE website; the
Highlights document itself is here.
have been published earlier in the year: please see Notes).
Workplace fatality and injury
For workplace injuries, the new figures include 2001/02 data on
non-fatal injuries notified by employers and others under the
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations
(RIDDOR), supplemented by injury statistics for 2000/01 from the
Labour Force Survey (LFS). The LFS and RIDDOR sources jointly give
the picture on trends in rates of non-fatal injury. The LFS rates of
reportable injury are not subject to the underreporting which affects
the statistics and trends of injuries collected through RIDDOR.
HSE introduced the Incident Contact Centre (ICC) as a single point of
incident reporting for employers and others in April 2001, as part of
the government's e-programme. The ICC offers easier reporting and
options - for example, over 25% of reports come via telephone. As
with any new system, HSE and the ICC have conducted more quality
assurance in the first year, which has led to a delay in publishing
the statistics of reported non-fatal injuries.
The quality assurance is designed to ensure correct recording, for
example of 'major injuries' as defined in RIDDOR, both when the
injuries are reported and in follow-up validation. This year the
validation could not check a small number of notified major injury
cases where there was insufficient information. As a result we
believe there is a small overstatement in the number of reported
major injuries in 2001/02.
The main features of the injuries statistics are:
- The number of worker fatalities decreased by 15% to 249 in 2001/02
from 292 in 2000/01. The rate of fatal injury dropped to 0.88 from
1.03 (per hundred thousand workers). The figure had risen by 30% in
2000/01, after the general downward trend in the 1990s. The rate of
fatal injury is still higher than expected had that downward trend
- The rate of reported major injury to employees dropped by 0.6% to
109.5 in 2001/02 from 110.2 in 2000/01. The rate of over 3 day injury
to employees dropped by 6% to 506.3 in 2001/02 from 536.9 in 2000/01.
These changes mainly reflect changes in the level of reporting.
- The LFS rates of reportable injury are given as a three year
averages to smooth sampling fluctuations. The averaged LFS rate of
reportable injury in 2000/01 was 1530 (per hundred thousand workers).
However, the rate of reported employee non-fatal (major plus over 3
day) injury was 647 in 2000/01, suggesting that employers report
about 42% of reportable injuries to their employees.
- The rate of reported non-fatal injury to self-employed people was
41 in 2000/01, and indicates that self employed people report less
than 3% of reportable injuries.
- Between 1994/95 and 1998/99, the averaged LFS rate of reportable
injury dropped by 14% but has risen since then by 3%. The averaged
LFS rate for 2001/02 is expected not to be very different.
- The rate of employee reported non-fatal injury dropped by 7%
between 1994/95 and 1998/99 but - unlike the LFS rate - has continued
to drop, being 11% lower by 2001/02. This recent reduction coupled
with the small rise in the averaged LFS rates suggest that reporting
levels have declined in the past three years. Within this there is
early evidence that the Incident Contact Centre has resulted in:
- improved reporting in areas where underreporting has been most
severe (self- employed people, agriculture and some service
- a relative improvement in the reporting of major injuries
compared with over 3 day injuries (because the rate of major injury
is steady in 2001/02 while that of over 3 day injury dropped).
- In 2000/01, the LFS rate of reportable injury was 1510 in Scotland
and 1600 in Wales, compared with 1530 for Great Britain. Research by
the Institute of Employment Research showed that the variation
between regions in terms of rates of injury was mainly determined by
job characteristics in the regions such as industries and
occupations; there was no evidence for a specifically 'regional
effect' acting on the risk of non-fatal injury.
Work-related ill health
The new statistics on work-related ill health include headline
results from the 2001/02 Self-reported Work-related Illness (SWI)
household survey, together with ill health data from other sources
including specialist doctors in the Occupational Disease Intelligence
Network (ODIN) and assessed benefit cases under the Industrial
Injuries Scheme (IIS). The main points are:
- The SWI01/02 survey estimates that 2.3 million individuals in
Great Britain were suffering from an illness in the last 12 months
which they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past
work. This prevalence estimate includes long standing as well as new
- Broad comparisons (based on a restricted coverage) between the
latest figures and those from HSE's previous three SWI surveys
suggest that the rate of self-reported work-related illness
prevalence in 2001/02 was somewhat higher than in 1998/99, but still
below the levels in 1990 and 1995.
- SWI01/02 estimates that 33 million working days were lost in the
previous 12 months through illness caused or made worse by work. This
is higher than previously estimated (18 million, from the SWI95
survey) but some of this is due to technical differences. It also
appears to reflect an increase in absence durations: the average time
off work among all those suffering was 23 days in 2001/02 compared
with 14 days in 1995.
- For trends in the incidence (new cases) of work-related ill
health, it is more helpful to look at data from other sources such as
ODIN and IIS. These cover musculoskeletal disorders and stress (see
below under Priority Programmes) and the other main causes and kinds
of work-related ill health. For example:
- The number of deaths and new IIS disablement benefit cases due
to asbestos-related diseases has continued to rise: mesothelioma
deaths stand at over 1,600 per year and asbestosis benefit cases at
around 460. This reflects the effects of historic exposure levels;
mesothelioma deaths at ages below 55 are falling.
- The number of new IIS disablement benefit cases of occupational
deafness has fallen over time (although the number rose slightly to
263 in 2001), as have the exposure levels of lead workers under
medical surveillance (1.1% of male workers had blood-lead measured
at or above the suspension levels in 2000/01, the lowest ever
- The estimated numbers of new cases of occupational asthma and of
contact dermatitis based on reports to ODIN specialist doctors have
remained broadly constant in recent years, at nearly 1000 cases and
3000-3500 cases per year respectively.
Revitalising Health and Safety targets
The statistics on health and safety at work inform the measurement of
progress against the targets for reducing work-related ill health,
injuries and working days lost set in the Revitalising Health and
Safety strategy. HSE's approach to progress measurement is detailed
in a Statistical Note published in June 2001, which is on the HSE
website at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/statnote.pdfAmong other things, this states that progress will be
assessed from trends estimated in statistical models, and that - for
ill health - existing data sources will need to be refined and new
ones developed, with a judgement on progress being made by integrating
data from several of them. At this early stage in the strategy period
it is not possible to make a full assessment of progress, but the
following can be said with respect to the three targets: these
statements, together with the material in Health and Safety Statistics
Highlights 2001/02, comprise the 'annual progress report' promised in
the Statistical Note.
Fatal and major injuries
- The target is to reduce the indicator by 10% in the 10 years to
2009/10, and by 5% by 2004/05. The indicator includes an uprating
factor for underreporting of major injuries.
- In the past 5 years, between 1996/97 and 2001/02, the indicator
dropped 6% but most of this had occurred by 1999/2000, the base year
of the Revitalising programme.
- Since 1999/2000 the indicator has fluctuated by small amounts that
are not statistically significant. There is no discernible
improvement since the base year.
- The indicator increased by 2.8% in 2001/02, reflecting an increase
in the uprating factor for underreporting. This does not allow for
the overstatement of major injuries in the validation process or the
relative improvement in the reporting of major injuries following the
introduction of the Incident Contact Centre (ICC). Initial estimates
of these effects suggest that under the old system the indicator
would have shown a small net drop in 2001/02. A fuller assessment of
the effect of the ICC on reporting levels will be made next year when
the averaged Labour Force Survey rates for 2001/02 are available.
Work-related ill health
- The target is to reduce the incidence rate (new cases) by 20% in
the 10 years to 2009/10, and by 10% by 2004/05.
- The latest information from self-reporting (SWI) surveys suggest
that the scale of the problem to be addressed by the strategies is
now greater than previously estimated.
- Information from other sources, including surveillance by
specialist doctors (ODIN), is consistent with the view that for
several important kinds of work-related ill health there has been no
significant decline in the numbers of cases reported in recent years
and that for some - notably stress and related disorders - the
numbers have increased.
Working days lost due to injuries and ill health
- The target is to reduce the rate per 100 000 workers by 30% in
the 10 years to 2009/10, and by 15% by 2004/05.
- Again, the latest information from self-reporting surveys suggest
that the scale of the problem is now greater than previously
estimated: a total of around 40 million days lost per year in 2000-02
compared with an earlier estimate, based on surveys conducted in
1995-98, of 24 million. Most of the difference relates to
work-related ill health, but some of it is due to technical
The statistics also provide information on the eight Priority
Programmes identified by the Health and Safety Commission. For
In agriculture in 2001/02 there were 39 worker fatalities. The rate
of worker fatal injury dropped by 9% in 2001/02 but has fluctuated in
the 1990s with no improvement. There was a significant upward trend
in the LFS rate of reportable injury, increasing by 37% between
1996/97 and 2000/01. In summary for agriculture, there is no progress
in rates of fatality and worsening rates of non-fatal injury.
In construction in 2001/02, there were 79 worker fatalities. The rate
of worker fatal injury dropped 28% in 2001/02. The rate of fatal
injury generally dropped until 1998/99 but rose substantially in the
next two years to 2000/01. The LFS rate of reportable injury has
fluctuated with small changes between 1996/97 and 2001/02, suggesting
no real change to the rate of non-fatal injury in construction. The
rate of major injury has decreased since 1999/2000 but this may
reflect a declining level of reporting. In summary for construction,
the latest fatality figure is an improvement but there is little
recent progress in the rate of non-fatal injury.
In health services there were 3 fatal injuries in the past five
years. The averaged LFS rate of reportable injury decreased by 33% in
the four years to 2000/01, and the rate of reported injury decreased
by 19%. There is a general downward trend in the rate of non-fatal
injury in health services, coupled with improved reporting levels.
Slip/trip injuries represent the commonest kind for employee major
injuries at 37% in 2001/02, rising from 33% in 2000/01. The number
rose from 9,054 to 10,118. Both number and percentage share have
increased gradually in the past five years. The increase in 2001/02
is partly due to new guidelines that clarify the distinction between
a slip/trip on the level and a fall from a height, in particular for
incidents on floors/kerbs/steps/stairs. Regular sample checks show
that most slip/trip incidents are correctly coded as such. Slip/trip
injuries have increased in percentage share of employee over 3 day
injuries since 1996/97 and accounted for 23% in 2001/02.
Falls from a height represent the second commonest kind for major
injuries (15%). The percentage share remained steady at 19% until
2000/01 and then dropped to 15%, in part due to the new guidelines
clarifying the recording of the kind of accident. Such clarification
is expected to contribute to a reduction in low falls but not
necessarily to high falls. Low falls increased in percentage share
between 1998/99 and 2000/01 (11.1 to 11.6%). The figure dropped to
7.8% in 2001/02, partly reflecting the new guidelines for recording
falls and slips. High falls (over 2 metres) decreased in number and
percentage share of major injuries between 1998/99 (5.8%) and 2000/01
(5.3%), and decreased further in 2001/02 (3.8%). It is expected that
some of this reduction is real and not due to the new guidelines,
given that these emphasise the recording of the hazard (i.e. working
at a height).
In 20001/02, being struck by a vehicle accounted for 959 (or 2.6%) of
employee major injuries. The number and percentage have dropped since
For work-related musculoskeletal disorders, the estimated prevalence
- based on broadly comparable figures from SWI surveys - was higher
in 2001/02 than in 1998/99 but lower than a decade ago. The incidence
(new cases) estimated from SWI01/02 was 240 000 in the previous 12
months. Because of technical differences, it is not possible to
compare this with SWI data for earlier years to make a judgement
about trends; however, the estimated number of first visits to ODIN
specialist doctors appears to have remained fairly stable in recent
years at around 8,000 a year.
For work-related stress and related disorders, the estimated
prevalence has increased over time and is now around double the level
it was in 1990, based on broadly comparable SWI figures. The
incidence (new cases) of stress, depression and anxiety was estimated
from SWI01/02 as 265,000 in the previous 12 months. This cannot be
directly compared with estimates from earlier SWI surveys, but the
estimated number of new cases reported by ODIN specialist doctors has
been rising and was almost 7,000 in 2001.
For enforcement activities, key figures are:
- In 2001/02 HSE issued 11 009 enforcement notices, nearly the same
number as in 2000/01 (11 056). The number of enforcement notices
issued by HSE dropped in the early 1990s from 11,914 in 1992/93 to
7,444 in 1996/97 but has risen since then.
- The number of enforcement notices issued by local authorities
dropped substantially from nearly 27,000 in 1992/93 to 5,170 in
1996/97 but has fluctuated since then. There were 5,810 in 2000/01.
- In 2001/02, there were 2035 informations laid by HSE, 3% higher
than in 2000/01 (1973). The number of informations laid dropped from
2,157 in 1992/93 to 1,490 in 1996/97 but has risen in most years
since then. The average fine increased to£8,284 in 2001/02 from
£6,226 in 2000/01 (partly reflecting a few relatively high fines).
The average fine has increased throughout the 1990s.
1. Since 1992/93, statistics relating to health and safety at work
have been published in an annual volume Health and Safety Statistics
and the Health and Safety Commission's Annual Report. This year for
the first time the top level statistics are being released in a slim
document and the details made available simultaneously on the HSE
2. Several sets of statistics have already been released this year.
Statistics of fatalities for 2001/02 were published in July 2002 in
the Fatal Injury Bulletin, which is re-published today on the website
at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overpic.htm and now includes
figures on fatalities to members of the public. The latest top level
statistics on the health and safety work of local authorities are
being made available today on the website at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/labltn02.pdf; statistics
of fatalities for 2001/02, along with injury and enforcement
statistics for 2000/01, were released in the HELA National Picture
2002 (www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/natpic02.pdf). Full
details of HSE's enforcement action were released in November 2002 in
the Offences and Penalties Report, which is available on the website
3. As well as giving data for Great Britain, the statistics released
today include statistics for Wales, Scotland and the regions of
England. Statistics Briefings for each of these are available on the
website at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/regions/index.htm The
statistics also include an updated factsheet about deaths from the
asbestos-related disease mesothelioma in the period 1986-2000 for
counties, their constituent local authorities, and unitary
authorities within Great Britain. This supersedes a previous
factsheet for the period 1986-95; it is on the HSE website at
4. The Revitalising Health and Safety strategy statement, launched by
the deputy prime minister and the chair of the Health and Safety
Commission in June 2000, set national targets to reduce the rate of
fatalities and major injuries, the incidence rate of work-related ill
health and the rate of working days lost from work-related injury and
ill health. The targets relating to ill health also featured in
Securing Health Together: A long-term occupational health strategy
for Great Britain, launched by the Health and Safety Commission and
Executive, in association with other government departments, in July
5. New arrangements for National Statistics were also launched by
the government in July 2000, to enhance the integrity and quality of
official statistics. The National Statistics 'badge' - which is on
Health and Safety Statistics Highlights 2001/02 - means that the
statistics concerned must be produced to high professional standards,
subject to regular quality assurance reviews, and published free from
political interference. To achieve this, the National Statistics
arrangements include an independent Statistics Commission, a Code of
Practice (released in October 2002), and mechanisms for consultation
Public Enquiries: Call HSE's InfoLine, tel: 08701 545500, or write
to: HSE Information Services, Caerphilly Business Park, Caerphilly
HSE information and press releases can be accessed on the Internet:
NEW FIGURES SHOW WORKPLACE DEATHS DOWN
New figures published today by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC)
show that 249 people were killed in work-related accidents around
Britain in 2001/02 (43 fewer than 2000/01), there were 27,477 major
injuries (47 fewer than 2001/02) and an estimated 40.2 million days
off work due to illness and injury.
The report's highlights are available at
www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overpic.htm while the full report is at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics
The three most common causes of work-related deaths were: falls from
heights (44 people); being struck by a moving or flying object (43
people); and being struck by a moving vehicle (40 people).
Slips and trips were the biggest cause of non-fatal workplace
injuries, accounting for over a third (37 per cent) of the total. The
three riskiest industries for major injuries were: mining (803 cases
per 100,000 workers); the water industry (652 cases per 100,000); and
railways (631 cases per 100,000).
In total, an estimated 40.2 million working days were lost due to
work-related illness and injury - 32.9 million due to illness and 7.3
million due to injury. Of days lost due to illness, 13.4 million were
attributed to stress, anxiety or depression and 12.3 million to
musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs (disorders affecting muscles and
joints). An estimated total of 1,126,000 people suffered from MSDs,
while a further 563,000 were affected by stress. Over the 12 months,
there were an estimated 265,000 new cases of stress.
The riskiest industries in terms of self-reported illness were:
agriculture and forestry (6,500 cases per 100,000 people working in
the sector either currently or in the last eight years), public
administration and defence (5,700 cases per 100,000) and construction
(5,600 cases per 100,000).
In 2000 the government and HSC set three 10-year national improvement
targets to reduce: days taken off work due to injury and illness;
work-related ill-health; and work-related fatal and major injuries.
Commenting on the figures, HSC chair Bill Callaghan said: 'My first
reaction is that these figures show little change - and I take no
comfort from that. We have much to do to achieve a step change in
health and safety improvement. This is only the second year in a
ten-year programme, but I expect to see some momentum in following
'Occupational health is a key area for improvement and presents
perhaps our toughest challenge. Stress and MSDs account for two
thirds of all days taken off work due to self-reported illness - and
these are the areas we have already targeted as priorities. Stress
seems to be endemic in modern society, both inside and outside the
workplace - and the rate of increase in recent years has been
considerable. Many people talk about 'stress-management'. The key to
reversing the upward trend is to avoid stress in the first place.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has already provided guidance
to employers and we have a number of initiatives in place to get to
grips with the problem.
Mr Callaghan continued: 'We have now established baselines for
measuring progress to reduce the incidence of ill-health and days
lost to sickness and injury. The figures - over 40 million days lost
- bring home what a waste health and safety failures represent to
Britain's businesses, as well as the pain caused to the victims. We
will continue to work with employers, workers and others to drive
down this unacceptable toll. This means we need to make progress in
both the public and private sectors. When we launched our national
improvement targets, we said the public sector should act as an
exemplar. The figures for occupational health show there is still
some way to go.'
On work-related deaths and injuries, Mr Callaghan concluded: 'I am
encouraged to see the reduction in work-related fatalities, but it is
too soon to tell whether this is the resumption of a downward trend.
Every death is one too many. I am also concerned by the rate of major
injuries, and by the fact that there has been no significant movement
here for a number of years. The key to progress is partnership
between all those with an interest in improving health and safety at
On 7 June 2000, HSC chair Bill Callaghan and deputy prime minister
John Prescott launched the Revitalising Health and Safety initiative.
This aims to achieve, by the year 2010, the following national
improvement targets: reduce the incidence of working days lost from
ill-health by 30 per cent; reduce the incidence of people suffering
from work-related ill-health by 20 per cent; and reduce the rate of
fatal and major injury accidents by 10 per cent. There is an
additional target to achieve half of each improvement by the year
2004. To help deliver the targets, HSC identified eight priority
areas - major hazards and worst-performing sectors of industry -
where improvement is most needed. These are: musculoskeletal
disorders; stress; construction; agriculture; the health service;
falls from heights; slips and trips; and work-related transport.
KEY STATS FOR DEATH, INJURY AND ILLNESS AT WORK
The report for 2001/02, identified the following:
- Fatalities among workers went down by 15 per cent from 292 to
249, with the rate down from 1 to 0.9 per 100,000.
- The three main causes of fatalities were falls from heights (44),
being struck by a moving or flying object (43), and being struck by a
moving vehicle (40).
- The south-east had the highest number of worker fatalities (31),
followed by Scotland (27). The lowest number of fatalities was in the
east and north-east (15 each).
- Fatalities in the construction industry fell by 25 per cent from
105 to 79, but the industry still accounts for nearly a third (32 per
cent) of all worker fatalities.
- Fatalities among members of the public were down 14 per cent from
444 to 384, almost three quarters of which were due to suicide or
trespass on railways.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH FATALITIES
- Around 6,000 people die of work-related cancers every year in
Great Britain due to past exposure to carcinogens at work (e.g.
- The number of people dying from mesothelioma (an asbestos-related
cancer) in 2000 was 1,628 - of which nearly 90 per cent were male.
The death toll is expected to peak around 2011, with 1,700 men dying
DAYS OFF WORK
- In total, an estimated 40.2 million working days were lost due to
work-related injuries and ill-health.
- Of these, 32.9 million working days were lost through work-related
illness, with stress, depression or anxiety accounting for 13.4
million days and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs - muscles and
joints) a further 12.3 million days.
- An estimated 7.3 million working days were lost to work-related
- On average, each person suffering work-related illness took 22.9
days off work.
- 2.3 million people in Britain suffered from an illness caused or
made worse by their current or previous work.
- MSDs (disorders affecting muscles and joints) were the most common
occupational health problem, with 1,126,000 sufferers, followed by
stress, depression or anxiety (563,000), then breathing problems
(168,000), and then hearing problems (87,000).
- The three riskiest industries in terms of self-reported ill-health
were agriculture (6,500 cases per 100,000 people working in the
sector either currently or in the last eight years), public
administration and defence (5,700) and construction (5,600).
- The number of people suffering from work-related stress has
roughly doubled over the last decade, with 265,000 new cases in the
last 12 months.
- Nearly 200,000 people whose current job (or most recent job in the
last eight years) was in health or social work said they suffered an
illness caused by their job, with a rate of 5,200 cases per 100,000
- Major injuries to employees went down slightly from 27 524 to 27
477, with the rate down from 110.2 to 109.5 per 100,000.
- The three riskiest industries in terms of major injuries to
workers were: mining (803.9 per 100,000 workers), followed by the
water industry (652.1) and then railways (631.1).
- The biggest cause of major injuries to workers was slips and
trips, which accounted for over a third (37 per cent) of the total.
- Over three day injuries to employees went down by 5 per cent, from
134,105 to 127,084, with the rate falling 6 per cent from 506.3 per
- Non-fatal injuries to members of the public went down 31 per cent,
from 20,836 to 14,362. Of these, 96 per cent occurred in the services
* All occupational ill-health and 'days lost' figures are estimates
based on a household survey in 2001/02 which asked people: whether
they had suffered from an illness in the last twelve months caused or
made worse by their work; how long ago they first became aware of it,
and what time they took off work as a result.
**The fatal, major and over three day injury figures are based on
incidents reported to HSE under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases
and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). These figure are
then revised upwards to take account of under-reporting of injuries
by employers and other duty holders, using the annual Labour Force
Survey as a benchmark. At present HSE estimates that only 43 per cent
of employee injuries and three per cent of injuries to the
self-employed are reported.
NEW REGULATIONS TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM FIRE AND EXPLOSION
New regulations to control fire and explosion risks from dangerous
substances and potentially explosive atmospheres came into force
today, 9 December 2002.
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002
(DSEAR) will implement the requirements of two European Union
Directives: the safety requirements of the Chemical Agents Directive
(CAD); and the requirements of the Explosive Atmospheres Directive
DSEAR will apply to all dangerous substances at nearly every business
in the UK. It sets minimum requirements for the protection of workers
from fire and explosion risks related to dangerous substances and
potentially explosive atmospheres.
A free leaflet, Fire And Explosion - How Safe is Your Workplace: A
short guide to the Dangersous Substances and Explosive Atmosphers
Regulations, to assist small and medium-sized businesses has been
published today. A web page for DSEAR, containing guidance on the new
regulations, can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/spd/content/dsear.htm
DSEAR will also be supported by interpretative guidance and Approved
Code of Practice (ACoP) material, to be published next year.
1. DSEAR will apply at any workplace where there is present any
substance or mixture of substances with the potential to create a
risk from energetic (energy-releasing) events such as fire,
explosions, thermal runaway from exothermic reactions etc. Such
substances, known in DSEAR as dangerous substances, include: petrol,
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), paints, varnishes, solvents and
certain types of dust that are explosive (e.g. wood dust).
2. The main requirements of DSEAR are that employers and the
self-employed must: carry out an assessment of the fire and explosion
risks of any work activities involving dangerous substances; provide
measures to eliminate, or reduce as far as is reasonably practicable,
the identified fire and explosion risks; apply measures, so far as is
reasonably practicable, to control risks and to mitigate the
detrimental effects of a fire or explosion; provide equipment and
procedures to deal with accidents and emergencies; provide employees
with information and precautionary training.
3. Additionally, from 30 June 2003, where explosive atmospheres may
occur: the workplaces should be classified into hazardous and
non-hazardous places; and any hazardous places classified into zones
on the basis of the frequency and duration of an explosive
atmosphere, and where necessary marked with a sign; equipment in
classified zones should be safe and satisfy the requirements of the
Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially
Explosive Atmospheres 1996; and, the workplaces should be verified as
meeting the requirements of DSEAR, by a competent person.
4. DSEAR implements the safety requirements of the Chemical Agents
Directive (CAD), and the requirements of the Explosive Atmospheres
Directive (ATEX). The health requirements of CAD are being
implemented through amendments to current health legislation: the
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH); the
Control of Lead at Work Regulations (CLAW); and the Control of
Asbestos at Work Regulations (CAW).
5. DSEAR will provide a modern framework for managing the risks of
fire and explosions and will enable around 20 pieces of old
legislation to be repealed or modernised. This will provide benefits
for employers who will in future have significantly less legislation
to consider. DSEAR does not contain requirements that are
fundamentally new; employers currently meeting existing legislation
should therefore notice no significant change. Safety standards will
be maintained through a combination of DSEAR and activity specific
Copies of Fire And Explosion - How Safe is Your Workplace: A short
guide to the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres
Regulations, aimed at small and medium-sized businesses are
available. Priced packs will be available from HSE Books; PO Box
1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA, tel: 01787-881165 or fax:
01787-313995. Priced publications are also available from good
booksellers. The leaflet will also be available to download free
from HSE's website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/index.htm
The Statutory Instruments: 'The Dangerous Substances and Explosive
Atmospheres Regulations 2002' (S.I. 2002/2776) will be available