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Thomas Ashton Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research

Our Aims

The Thomas Ashton Institute draws upon the knowledge and experience of The University of Manchester and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to deliver research, learning and regulatory insights to enable a better working world.

The health, safety and wellbeing of the global workforce is of substantial importance across the academic and regulatory sectors with research into risk and regulation being a priority for the University and the HSE. The TAI is a highly active and engaged research institute adding value to risk and regulatory research supporting a growing body of affiliated researchers from across the University and HSE. Acting as a visible point of contact for risk and regulatory research at the University and HSE, we facilitate connections internally and externally and manage key stakeholder relationships.

The partnership with HSE means we can connect our research capabilities and knowledge within the University to improve the health, safety, and wellbeing of the workforce. We aim for TAI to become a global player in the journey to improve health, safety, and wellbeing within the workplace. We are working hard to improve the visibility of, and the reach of research at Manchester and the HSE, enhancing our national and global reputation for highest quality risk and regulatory research.

Supported by our unique view of incidents (small and large) we can see the patterns in causal and contributory factors to help understand emerging risks and risks that have not been controlled in existing industries. We build and use the extensive range of networks available to us to provide new perspectives, and to see the whole picture from different angles. This means that we can understand problems at a systems level. We work with organisations to co-create solutions which are evidence based, achievable and consider issues from a regulatory, academic, industrial and Government perspective.

We can show our approach works through the impact we deliver, which is immediate, direct, and tailored to the needs of the sector we are working with. We use the best available evidence and the right mix of skills to address the whole problem, not just bits of it, and by linking our extensive range of networks we can also accelerate routes to impact. Our solutions come in a format that does not require translation, and our knowledge, experience and skill mix mean that we can recommend the right things to do in the right order to make a measurable and sustainable difference in creating a safer and healthier society.

Key goals are:

  1. To advance knowledge about health, safety, stress, and wellbeing in the workplace through the pursuit of high-quality research
  2. To translate research into wider knowledge exchange, and where applicable facilitate practice and evidence-based policy.
  3. To reduce risk, increase assurance and shape the leaders of tomorrow to transform working.
  4. To transform the handling of complex risk, delivering a safer, more resilient workplace.
  5. To equip UK industry and advance world best practice and deliver increased productivity and growth through reduction in unplanned downtime and increased resilience.