Last reviewed 6 May 2021

Focusing on the ways science and evidence is being used to prevent death, injury and ill-health in Great Britain’s workplace, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its Annual Science Review 2021.

It focuses on how HSE’s scientific evidence has been supporting the Government’s response to the pandemic in areas such as the rapid increase in supply of suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) to the NHS front line and biosafety training, including for workers handling bulk quantities of live virus for vaccine research.

The HSE has also been involved in the Scientific Advice to Government in Emergencies (SAGE) response to Covid-19.

The Review highlights the range of studies HSE scientists are working on to support healthy and safe work in Great Britain.

These include:

  • the safe introduction of hydrogen technologies and supporting the UK target to achieve net zero emissions

  • assessing the evidence for safe levels of exposure to toxicological hazards

  • the evidence supporting an award-winning campaign that reduced the risk of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks

  • supporting industry on a commercial basis, such as using HSE’s experiment facilities to test the heat resistance of components for jet engines.

Chief Scientific Adviser and Director of Research, Professor Andrew Curran, said:” It is difficult to pick any particular highlights. However, in terms of sheer scale, I am particularly impressed by the work our technical experts have been doing to ensure that any PPE that enters the supply chain in Great Britain will protect the person who wears it”.