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Case Study

Web Based Mapping- to help streamline HSE’s inspections

The Client

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has the day-to-day responsibility for enforcing health and safety legislation and its concerns range from nuclear installations and chemical plants, through to mines, factories, farms and many other workplaces. Inspectors frequently have requirements for up-to-date mapping for their day-to-day inspection tasks.

The Problem

A central web mapping solution was required for HSE and HSL use, which was accessible, interactive and available.

What We Did

The Geographical Information Systems (GIS) team at HSL have developed a method of providing mapping and spatial solutions to users at their desks, without the requirement of specialist software or training.

The GIS team used a specialist GIS software package to develop an application that allows maps and data to be delivered in a standard web browser without any plug-ins. It allows the user to interact with the mapping and use fundamental GIS functionality, including searching, panning, zooming and querying, without the need for specialist or expensive GIS software and training.

The GIS team has already produced a successful customized mapping tool for the HSE Birmingham office to help manage Legionella outbreak response. This has enabled specialist inspectors to access detailed and up to date mapping and inspection data and allowed them to overlay data sets and interrogate them spatially to provide tailored information. This is helping them respond more quickly to incidents and carry out their work more efficiently. The data provided is stored centrally at HSL so it can be updated regularly and centrally on the main server and is immediately accessible across HSE nationally. The web based mapping service can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be tailored to the specific requirements of different divisions of HSE.

HSL's web based mapping capability has led to:

  • Increased Productivity, Speed and Availability of data and HSL's Geographical Service.
  • Collaborative Working and Data Sharing.
  • Innovative Development in GIS.


Web based mapping has provided a range of benefits to HSL and HSE. Enabling specialist inspectors to access detailed and up to date mapping and data has allowed them to respond more quickly to incidents and carry out their work more efficiently.

Exploring methods of developing web based mapping for specific requirements has led to a number of specialised systems where an inspector's data can be overlaid on OS maps and interrogated to provide tailored information.

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"The web based mapping application developed by HSL has significantly increased HSE's initial response times and will greatly improve many aspects of the management and analysis of future outbreaks. The application also enhances the professionalism and reputation of HSE when dealing with other stakeholders with responsibilities in outbreak situations."
John Healy, Inspector, HSE Field Operations Directorate.

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