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HSE and Manchester academics launch new risk institute

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the University of Manchester (UoM) have jointly founded a new research institute to improve industry’s understanding of work-related risk.

Image credit: ©Thomas Ashton Institute

One of the key aims of the new Thomas Ashton Institute (www.ashtoninstitute.ac.uk), due to be launched formally in in April 2018, will be to make the lessons learned from four decades of incident investigations and research more accessible to industry. The partners say they hope the institute’s work will help to make sure mistakes are not repeated as new technologies and industries are developed.

UoM carries out research in fields including cancer, advanced materials, energy and biotechnology. The institute will draw on the UoM’s research pedigree in delivering longitudinal studies and HSE’s regulatory expertise to inform international OSH practice. Its work will cover: industrial processes and major hazards; human factors; health; the use of data; and the cumulative probability of multiple factors in workplace risk.

The interdisciplinary research institute announced its first major programme this week with a £10m investment by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Details of the programme are under discussion.

The partners say that the evidence generated by the institute will be available for international OSH practitioners to draw on and use to improve competence in their own countries. 

HSE’s chief executive Dr Richard Judge said that, as part of the launch, the partnership would be inviting forward-thinking contributors to work with the HSE and the IoM on the institute’s future programmes to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health.

Nick Warburton is deputy editor of IOSH Magazine 

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