HSE accelerator targets safety technology innovators

Smart plant image Safety technology image
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UK technology companies with game-changing safety technology products have been invited to join a project being delivered by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to explore how better innovation and regulation can improve safety and risk management in construction.

The project, Discovering Safety, sees the HSE also working in partnership with Safetytech Accelerator, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to advancing the use of technology to improve safety in industry.

Together, they are working to identify an initial cohort of technology companies to join the initiative that provides innovators with access to regulatory expertise.

Six technology companies with high-potential safety technology products are being recruited to join the so-called ‘sandbox’. It will focus initially on innovation around significant areas of risk in construction, including falls from height, vehicle collisions, crane operations and manual handling. It is expected that the products will already be on the market, but maybe not being used in the construction sector or for health and safety.

The three-month project will explore ways to undertake assessment and compliance activities more effectively, help accelerate the adoption of proven safety technology products in industry, and understand and reduce barriers that might delay the development of new life-saving technologies.

Dr Helen Balmforth, head of data analytics at HSE and lead on Discovering Safety, said: “We are committed to supporting health and safety innovation, and also to exploring ways that we can be innovative in how we approach regulation. We are looking to the safety technology community to help identify the best opportunities for progress and how we can collectively overcome the barriers that limit progress.”

Shaping regulations

Dr Maurizio Pilu, managing director at Safetytech Accelerator, added: “Thanks to advances in areas such as AI, analytics, augmented reality, wearables, drones and robotics, there is now huge potential to make industry safer. This ground-breaking sandbox presents safety technology companies of all sizes with an opportunity to understand and help shape the regulatory landscape to accelerate life-saving innovation for all.”

The sandbox will start in April and run for three months. The outputs will be a series of feasibility studies. These will be published in the final report that will be delivered to the Better Regulation Executive in autumn 2023.

Alongside technology companies, the HSE is recruiting key organisations to help inform the project such as Balfour Beatty.

The Industrial Safetytech Regulatory Sandbox is the latest project from Discovering Safety, which is delivered by experts in the HSE’s Science Division separately from regulatory activities.

The HSE’s Science Division comprises 380 scientists, engineers, occupational health and hygiene specialists and support professionals. They provide the research and evidence that HSE requires to underpin its regulatory activities and the foresight and testing needed to evaluate emerging workplace technologies.

The HSE’s partner, Safetytech Accelerator, is the world’s first fully dedicated technology accelerator focused on safety and risk in industrial sectors. It is a not-for-profit organisation established by Lloyd’s Register.

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