Health and Safety Commission

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Health and Safety Commission
Health and Safety Commission logo.jpg
Commission overview
Formed 1974 (1974)
Dissolved 1 April 2008 (2008-04-01)
Superceding agency
Type Crown-status non-departmental public body
Jurisdiction England and Wales and Scotland

The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) was a United Kingdom non-departmental public body. The HSC was created by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA).[1] The Commission consisted of a chairman and between six and nine other people, appointed by the appropriate Secretary of State, latterly the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, after consultation.[2] Its responsibilities covered England and Wales and Scotland. In Northern Ireland, its functions were carried out by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland. It merged with the Health and Safety Executive on 1 April 2008.


The Commission's duties were to:[3]

  • Assist and encourage persons concerned with matters relevant to the operation of the objectives of the HSWA;
  • Make arrangements for and encourage research and publication, training and information in connection with its work;
  • Make arrangements for securing that government departments, employers, employees, their respective representative organisations, and other persons are provided with an information and advisory service and are kept informed of, and adequately advised on, such matters;
  • Propose regulations.

The Commission was further obliged keep the Secretary of State informed of its plans and ensure alignment with the policies of the Secretary of State, giving effect to any directions given to it.[4] The Secretary of State could give directions to the Commission.[5]

On 1 April 2006, the Commission ceased to have responsibility for railway safety.[6]

Merger with the HSE[edit]

In practice, the Commission delegated its responsibilities to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).[7]

In August 2007, the Department for Work and Pensions started consultation on merger of the HSC and HSE to a largely positive response.[8] On 18 March 2008, government minister Lord McKenzie of Luton announced that the merger would be completed during spring 2008.[9] The merger was completed on 1 April 2008.[10][11]


  1. ^ Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, s.10
  2. ^ Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, s.10(2)-(4)
  3. ^ Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, s.11(2)
  4. ^ Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, s.11(3)
  5. ^ Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, s.12
  6. ^ Railways Act 2005, ss.2, 60/ Sch.3 para.3(1)(b)(2); Railways Act 2005 (Commencement No.5) Order 2006, SI 2006/266, art.2(2), Sch.
  7. ^ Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, ss.11(4), 14
  8. ^ "The Merger of the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive". Department for Work and Pensions. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  9. ^ "Cross party backing for health and safety professionals". Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  10. ^ Department for Work and Pensions (1 April 2008). "Health and Safety Commission and Health and Safety Executive merge to form a single regulatory body". Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  11. ^ Legislative Reform (Health and Safety Executive) Order 2008, SI 2008/960

External links[edit]