The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the body responsible for promoting workplace health and safety in Great Britain. We are an independent regulator and act in the public interest to reduce work-related death, serious injury and ill health across Great Britain’s workplaces.
Our modern, well equipped head office is located just 10 minutes from Liverpool city centre, with good road and rail links to the rest of the country.
We are a relatively small team of around 10 economists, though we often work closely with economists in other departments and agencies. We also work closely with other analysts; specifically statisticians, social researchers and psychologists, and policy and operational colleagues.
Because we are a small team, there are lots of opportunities to take on responsibility and develop your skills set. This exposure to high-level work, other analytical disciplines and policy colleagues will help form a solid basis for a career as a government economist.
Our work includes impact assessments of policy proposals, post-implementation evaluation of policies, longer-term research to improve our knowledge base and valuation projects. A key part of our work is the valuation of life and health and as part of this we produce annual estimates of the costs to society of work-related injuries and ill health.
We place a high emphasis on learning and development, in particular making sure that we keep abreast of the latest thinking in economics. This bears out in our high quality work; we are consistently near the top of the Regulatory Policy Committee’s impact assessment ‘league tables’, proactively exploring the potential of behavioural economics to influence policymaking and undertaking research to make sure we stay as leaders in the field.
Economists in HSE work on a wide variety of different issues, these include:
• Health and safety in the workplace, and the impacts of different policy measures in reducing injury and fatality risk in different industries (for example construction, manufacturing and agriculture).
• The economic impacts of keeping hazardous installations (such as power plants, chemical factories and offshore installations) and the people that work in them safe.
• Long-latency health issues at work, for example looking at the impacts of asbestos and other carcinogens.
• The regulation of chemicals – working closely with the European Commission other government departments, particularly Defra and the Environment Agency.
• What the impacts of the recession and economic crisis will be on health and safety outcomes.
The starting salary for an assistant economist at HSE is between £27,000 and £30,000, depending on whether you have a Masters degree and previous experience. There is also an entitlement to 25 days annual leave and the potential for flexible working arrangements.
For further information, please contact the chief economist, Alan Spence, at Alan.Spence@hse.gsi.gov.uk.
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