In January 2023, Discovering Safety won funding from the Regulator’s Pioneer Fund to carry out an eight month project that would bring organisations in the construction industry together with experts from HSE to explore new, innovative technologies with tech companies. The project was the world’s first industrial safetytech regulatory sandbox for the UK construction sector, adopting a ‘sandbox’ approach to creating a collaborative environment where new technologies and solutions could be scrutinised against real scenarios and health and safety risks to understand opportunities for improving performance and removing barriers to adoption.
The Sandbox investigative studies explored the opportunities for improving health and safety using technology and identified a range of barriers to tech adoption. From this a set of recommendations were identified for industry, HSE and wider Government.
Sharing our findings
In October 2023, at project end, HSE ran a free face-to-face event presenting the knowledge gained from the sandbox projects: the outcomes, next steps and the project's six innovative solutions that break down barriers to industrial safetytech adoption in the Construction Industry.
This final event attracted 97 delegates from Government, Construction, Health and Safety, Technology and Academia. 100% of delegates surveyed reported the event as a good use of their time and all attendees voted that as a result of attending this event, they consider HSE to be an enabling regulator.
Dr Helen Balmforth, Head of Data Analytics chaired the event which was opened by three keynote speakers from founding organisations:
- Professor Andrew Curran, HSE's Director of Science and Chief Scientific Adviser
- Dr Ruth Boumphrey, Chief Executive of Lloyd's Register Foundation
- Jim Foudy, SRO of the Regulators' Pioneer Fund and Deputy Director of the Technology
and Innovative Regulation Directorate in DSIT
Seb Corby, Principal Consultant at Safetytech Accelerator and Steven Naylor, Lead Scientist at Health and Safety Executive and technical specialist on Discovering Safety introduced five sessions which showcased the results of each of the five innovative projects within the sandbox.
The event concluded with a vibrant panel discussion with audience participation.
Helen Balmforth, Discovering Safety lead reported:
We were very happy with how the event went, we received lots of positive feedback and there was a good buzz of discussion and networking. It was a great way to round off the ISRS project and set a good foundation for our next steps!
The sandbox was a good open platform to conduct the type of thinking required for the future of safetytech. It encouraged honesty and that always benefits invention... I found the event very educational across all the topics covered… Overall, a very worthwhile event, thank you… A very informative and stimulating event that gave real insights into the work that is going on behind the scenes to create a smoother journey for enabling new technology and innovation to be embraced by industry… This was a good example of how the industry should work together to drive collaboration and innovation… Really engaging and dynamic showcase of the regulator and industry working together to create opportunities for industry.
The Sandbox was seen as a success by all involved and the final event was a fitting celebration to what has been achieved.
Further information about similar projects will be posted on our news section here and on our LinkedIn page.