The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has appointed a new committee to provide independent expert advice on workplace health – WHEC. The group will comprise nine members and provide expert opinion on emerging issues and trends. They will work under the leadership of an independent expert chair to provide scientific and medical advice to the HSE’s chief scientific advisor and director of research, Professor Andrew Curran, and the HSE Board.

The aim is that the committee will identify issues of concern to government departments and business. It will primarily focus on chemical and physical hazards, not general wellbeing, sickness absence management or rehabilitation.

HSE statistics record that approximately 13,000 people each year suffer from occupational lung disease and cancer as a consequence of past workplace exposures.

Chair of the committee, Professor Sir Anthony Newman Taylor, said: ‘I am delighted to chair this important new HSE committee. Policy for health and safety needs to be informed by the best contemporary scientific evidence. It is our role to provide HSE with robust evaluation of emerging evidence of new hazards and new evidence of well recognised hazards. I greatly look forward to working with this distinguished panel of experts to achieve this.’