When we started the House of Commons select committee Inquiry into the Health and Safety Executive, the first impression of the organisation was one of success.
Both fatal accidents and accidents in general are falling in the UK. And whether this is due to the changing nature of UK industry - with the decline in heavy industry - or the HSE doing a good job, one thing is clear - we are doing much better than the rest of Europe.
But the committee report does highlight the difficulties of addressing occupational health problems within the mainstream health service. It says that incidence is likely to increase and it is concerned that the HSE's strategy and associated targets may not be ambitious enough. It recommends that the Government and the HSE develop the idea of an occupational health advisory network based around primary care groups.
The committee was also concerned, however, about the number of small firms being fined or prosecuted by health and safety inspectors. And this threw up two other issues.
The first was whether the HSE had adapted to changes in the workplace? In the past, heavy industry needed regulating to avoid accidents. Today, with far more people working in offices, with monitors and keyboards, such accidents are much rarer.
In these conditions health is more often damaged slowly. The problems are more likely to be stress, repetitive strain injury, damaged eyesight, allergies to photocopiers, and so on.
The second concern is how far the tripartite system of the TUC, CBI and Governance, are the relevant bodies to dominate the Health and Safety Commission?
The argument is that many small firms are not in the CBI, and a large number of staff are not in unions. Representing small firms and non-union employees is virtually impossible, however, so the committee concluded it was up to those who are unrepresented to join the CBI, or a union.
Getting to grips with such issues is the real challenge for the HSE over the next few years. I won't say that dealing with yesterday's problems is easy, but it is much easier than dealing with tomorrow's problems.