There is a long tradition of health and safety regulation in Great Britain, as far back as the 19th century. The foundation of the current health and safety system was established by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The legislation has at its heart a simple but enduring principle – those who create risks are best placed to control them. The system has stood the test of time and Great Britain has one of the best combined health and safety records in the world. HSE's strategy recognises that the changing world presents new challenges for the health and safety system as a whole, and sets out to address them.
Broadly, HSE enforces health and safety law in industrial workplaces and over 400 local authorities enforce in commercial workplaces. The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) enforces the law in relation to railways. Further information can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/web42.pdf
Similar arrangements are in place for Northern Ireland.