After a Natural Sciences degree at Cambridge University, with a specialization in Experimental Psychology, Andrew Hale joined the Institute of Industrial Psychology in London in 1966 to carry out research into the causes of occupational accidents and electrical switching errors. He ran its Birmingham office until 1972, when he moved to the University of Aston in Birmingham to join the newly formed Safety and Hygiene Group as Lecturer and later, Senior Lecturer.
His doctorate (1978) was on the role and training needs of factory inspectors. He was appointed Professor of Safety Science at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands in 1984, a position he occupied until 2009, when he became Professor Emeritus. He has conducted research and advisory work into human factors, behavioural safety, safety management and safety regulation, covering fields such as safety training, risk perception, situational awareness, safety rules and procedures, the role and training of safety and health professionals, risk assessment and design analysis, safety management and safety culture, regulatory oversight and inspection methods. He is co-author of 6 books and has over another 350 publications to his name, 125 in refereed journals. He was, for 20 years, editor of the refereed journal ‘Safety Science’.
He has received Distinguished Service Awards from the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and from the Dutch Association for Safety Science. He was created a knight (ridder) in the Order of the Netherlands Lion for his services to safety in the Netherlands and internationally in 2006. He received the Presidents Medal of the Ergonomics Society for research in ergonomics in 2000.
In his time in the Netherlands he was chairman of a number of committees: Dutch Standards Institute Committee on Machinery Safeguarding, Scientific Advisory Board, Dutch Traffic Safety Institute, Committee on Safety Management of the Dutch Labour Council, Dutch Expert Committee for the Certification of Safety Engineers, and Certification Committee of the European Network of Safety & Health Practitioner Organisations. He was also a member of the following: Board of Directors of the Dutch Council for Certification, Safety Advisory Committee, Schiphol Airport, Executive Board of the Dutch Association of Safety Science. He has worked as Safety Assessor for high speed rail and tram lines, as a part-time safety adviser for a motor components manufacturer and training developer for a North African oil and gas complex. He has an extensive network of European and international contacts in safety and health through European Union projects and his work on advisory and evaluation committees for safety institutes in Norway, France, the Netherlands and UK.