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Thomas Ashton Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research

Social Change and Inequalities

How improvements in health & safety can support societal changes to the way work is undertaken

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It includes understanding how new models of employment and changes in employment practice can create or mitigate health and safety risks, and the opportunities to improve this. It will consider the regulations that are imposed to control this, their success and their need for constant refreshment. It also includes the impact of an ageing workforce, especially in relation to rapid technological change.

It is especially concerned with the interfaces between people and machinery (plant or cyber). It allows research which analyses the process of change but also maps benefits from a resilient future workplace.

It links with The University of Manchester's leading expertise in ageing, as well as in the social sciences; and with HSE’s science programme on demographics.

Theme leads:

Theme membership

  • Colleen Butler (HSE)
  • David Fishwick (HSE)
  • Anne Foster (HSE)
  • Angelique Hartwig 
  • Kara Ng
  • Nick Warren (HSE)


  • Preventing work-related violence and aggression: improving reporting and influencing employers to address the problem. Sheena Johnson/Helen Beers et al. AMBS UoM Seed corn funding
  • Bioelectronic monitoring of light exposure and circadian rhythms - Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund [W-ISSF] Cross-Faculty Consolidator call led by Centre for Biological Timing (Rob Lucas with Sheena Johnson and Martie van Tongeren
  • Health Framework Projects: Demographics - 2 Rapid Evidence Assessments
  • Fatigue focused proposal with Social Change and Inequalities Theme
  • NIHR Policy Research Policy Research Programme Call on Working Age Health – Possible long COVID19 focus submitting to Round 2 in June 2021