Health & Safety

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Health & Safety

Accidents, or a breach of health and safety, can occur unexpectedly in a workplace, leading to prosecution and serious consequences for a business. It is a very complex topic and affects all businesses from sole traders all the way up to large multi-national companies. All businesses must ensure that they are taking the issue of health and safety within their organisation very seriously.

Recently there have been major changes in the way health and safety incidents are investigated, which has seen an increase in the level of fines being imposed. Even breaches of health and safety law that you may regard as relatively minor can result in very large fines and more serious offences can often result in prison sentences for company directors and officers. Individuals that are found guilty of an offence can also be disqualified from being a director or part of a company’s management for up to 15 years. It is therefore imperative that anyone with a health and safety case consults with experienced lawyers to guide them through the process. Our specialist solicitors are able to advise individuals and businesses on their particular case and assist them to obtain the best possible outcome.

What does Health and Safety cover?

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, those found guilty can face fines and imprisonment. In serious cases resulting in death, companies and partnerships can be prosecuted under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, and the business can then face unlimited fines and other penalties. It is worth noting that individual directors can face prosecution for manslaughter or Health and Safety offences. In 2013/14, 94% of prosecutions were successful and £18m in fines were levied.

There is a wide range of issues that arise under health and safety legislation including:

  • HSE and Local Authority investigations and requests for information.
  • Regulatory compliance.
  • Corporate manslaughter and homicide.
  • Gross negligence manslaughter.
  • Supply chain due diligence and sub-contractor supervision.
  • Regulation breaches.
  • Enforcement, improvement and prohibition notices.
  • Working at height.
  • Gas and fire safety.
  • Provision of safety equipment.

The issues surrounding this area of law are complex and having expert representation throughout the process including during interviews under caution, negotiations, regulatory court proceedings and appeals can greatly change the outcome of your case.

Businesses should also ensure that they are taking preventative measures and relevant training for their staff to avoid a health and safety incident arising. Our specialist solicitors can advise you on all aspects of this to ensure you are compliant and to protect your business by making sure the appropriate measures and training are in place.

Contact our expert Defence Lawyers

Prosecutions can be brought against businesses or individuals and can often be highly complex, and you will need specialist advice on the technical aspects of the regulations.  A successful prosecution can result in the loss of a business as well as fines and other penalties so getting specialist advice is crucial. Solicitor and High Court Advocate Dawn Pearson has unrivalled experience of defending and prosecuting health and safety cases and can provide tailored advice and representation.

Our solicitors work across offices in Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire. We are also able to represent you if you live elsewhere and we can see at home, in prison or police custody if necessary.

We can advise you under the Legal Aid scheme but if public funding is not available we will quote you a competitive price for our work.

Contact our expert Defence Solicitors St Albans, Leighton Buzzard & Stevenage for further assistance.

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