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HELA Structure, Strategy and Role

Structure of HELA

HELA meets at least twice a year and is chaired jointly by the Deputy Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Chair of the LACoRS Health and Safety Policy Forum.

The current Chairs of HELA are Justin McCracken, HSE's Deputy Chief Executive and Paul Unsworth of Arun District Council.

HELA membership comprises senior LA officers. These members represent the Local Government Association (LGA) in England, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) in Scotland and the Welsh LGA (WLGA) in Wales. HELA also includes HSE officials concerned with policy development and operations.

Also represented are The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS).

Role of HELA

HELA’s aim is to provide strategic oversight of the partnerships between HSE and Local Authorities, with a view to maximising effectiveness and improving health and safety outcomes.

HELA Strategy

The HELA strategy for 2001-2004 reflects the desire of the HSC that enforcing authorities focus should be the 'Revitalising Health and Safety' agenda. HELA issued a Local Authority Circular (LAC 40/6(now withdrawn)) outlining the Strategy, Priority Programmes and other Priority Topics on which LAs were asked to focus their enforcement and promotional activities.

LAC 40/7 (now withdrawn) confirmed the temporary extension of the strategy to 2004/05 or until strategic changes in LA/HSE joint working force its earlier revision.

HELA is also responsible for providing more detailed guidance to LAs to support Section 18 Guidance [280kb] . This guidance is issued by HSC under Section 18 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) and sets out the broad principles that HSC wishes Local Authorities to adopt in enforcing health and safety legislation. HELA monitors the performance of LAs' management of health and safety enforcement on behalf of the HSC. It is taking forward an auditing programme and reports to the HSC on the results of this.