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Shared Research

"Working together to solve health and safety challenges"

HSE has a longstanding history of supporting science and research to address a range of cross-sector health and safety issues.

Venn Diagram: HSE Priorities, Individual Company Priorities and Industry Group Priorities all intersect for Shared Research

Building on this heritage, we provide a platform to identify and co-fund applied research projects that are of interest to both industry and regulatory bodies.

Contributing partners can help to shape the research activity and get exclusive early sight of the results, allowing them to improve their management of emerging H&S challenges in their business, assured of alignment with HSE priorities.

How does HSE's Shared Research work?

We run a number of research projects. Each project begins with a recognised gap in knowledge that HSE and industry stakeholders see a need to fill, to help us understand and ultimately better manage health and safety challenges.

We then invite regulatory, industry and other stakeholders to discuss the idea in more detail, and put together a research project that will help improve our collective understanding and knowledge. The project is led by HSE experts, often making use of the facilities provided by our Science and Research Centre in Buxton.

Industry and other stakeholders are then invited to contribute towards funding the research project. HSE also supports the projects financially. Typically, we will seek several sponsoring organisations to ensure we can undertake the best research to answer the health and safety needs we've all identified.

Active shared research projects:

<SEEKING SPONSORS> Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI)

Photo of ruptured pipe due to corrosion.jpg

CUI is prevalent on plant both on and offshore, including nuclear and chemical plants, oil refineries and offshore installations.

Developments in coatings, insulation materials, cladding systems and installation practices have led to some improvements, however the unpredictable nature of CUI, combined with the associated difficulties of inspecting for and subsequently detecting anomalies, makes ongoing integrity management extremely challenging.

Consequently, CUI continues to represent a major safety threat, having been responsible for a number of major hydrocarbon releases and presenting industry with a range of business assurance/continuity challenges that carry with them significant costs each year.

This project considers CUI from a lifecycle perspective. Through an empirical work programme, the aim is to further develop our knowledge and understanding, resulting in safer, more reliable and efficient operations.

Download the project overview (PDF)

Contact us for more information about this project at

<REGISTER INTEREST> Studying the Safety Critical Offshore Application of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic Engineered Composite Repairs (ECRs)

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In 2020 a Shared Research Project (ECR1) sponsored by HSE, operators and repair suppliers was completed. ECR1 focused on a number of key areas such as: quality assurance and integrity management; inspection; in-service performance; and human factors. This resulted in the release of an industry-leading Good Practice Guide.

Whilst ECR1 represented a significant step forward, both HSE and industry recognise that there are still knowledge gaps associated with the long-term integrity of composite repairs.

ECR2 will seek to build on the learnings of ECR1 through a detailed evaluation of recently decommissioned repairs from a safety critical application.

Download the project overview (PDF)

Contact us for more information about this project at

<IN PROGRESS> Further work towards area classification for oil mists (MISTS2)

Mists of high-flashpoint fluids such as hydraulic oils, lubricating oils, diesel and heavier fuels can ignite and produce explosions at temperatures below their flashpoints.

There is a legal requirement to consider hazardous area classification for flammable mists. Whilst area classification for explosive gases is well established, available guidance for flammable mists is limited, brief and largely qualitative when it comes to controls for such risks.

Following on from a successful joint research project on the formation and mitigation of flammable mists [MISTS1], this current project seeks to further develop our knowledge and understanding of the formation and mitigation of flammable mists.

Contact us for more information about this project at

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