Safety won’t be forgotten in the race to Net Zero

Professor Andrew Curran, Director of Science and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Safety will be a central part of Great Britain’s move to Net Zero the top scientist at the country’s workplace regulator says.

The government has committed to decarbonising our economy by 2050 and that will involve embracing new technologies.

Professor Andrew Curran, Director of Science at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and a member of the government’s Chief Scientific Advisers Network, says scientists at HSE are already working to address challenges presented by the move to Net Zero.

The safe use of lithium-ion batteries, testing hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in tunnels, and the safety of hydrogen as a potential fuel for flights are just some areas where HSE scientists are safe-guarding safety during the introduction of Net Zero technologies.

This work is highlighted in the annual HSE science review published today (March 28).

Professor Curran said: “HSE scientists have a key role to play here. Bringing together scientific expertise and Britain’s proud health and safety record, they have spent more than 20 years identifying and tackling emerging safety challenges to enable the safe introduction of net zero energy technologies. They have worked with policymakers, industry, and researchers around the world.

“By doing so HSE is playing an important role in enabling a safe pathway to reaching net zero by 2050.”

In addition to work on net zero safety, ensuring the learning from the COVID-19 National Core Study enables future pandemic preparedness, and the authorisation of the first UK application of a pesticide using a drone are some of the other case studies captured in HSE’s Annual Science Review.

Read more about HSE’s case studies highlighted in this year’s Annual Science Review.

To hear HSE scientists and engineers presenting 5 min ‘Turbo Talks’ on their work, please join us for the 2023 HSE Annual Science Review launch seminar, online, at 1pm on 20 April. To register:

Notes to editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More information about the legislation referred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.