Health and Safety legislation
Although a defendant is generally presumed not guilty under criminal law, there is a principle about intent known as strict liability, which means that even though there was no intention to cause harm, the defendant will be guilty. This position has been adopted fully by health and safety legislation.
In other words, the posture is would a “reasonable person” hold your employer partially to blame for the accident causing harm?
Company directors and managers may be personally liable under the HSW Act for a health and safety offence committed with their consent or connivance.
Under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care.
It is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business.
Employers must do whatever is “reasonably practicable” to achieve this.
Employers have duties under health and safety law to assess risks in the workplace.
In court an employer must demonstrate that they have done all that they could have “reasonably” have done to protect their staff and visitors.
Management Consultants London (MCL) can help you identify gaps in your health and safety policy and work processess implimentation.
Health and safety cases
Various other health and safety cases
Health and safety risk assessment consultation
The employer has a duty to consult with staff or their elected representatives on health and safety issues. This will include:
Information on new workplace measures
Appointments of competent persons
Procedures for managing serious incidents
Training in health and safety matters
Impact of new technologies on health and safety procedures
Health and safety at work acts
Staff also have a duty of care and they must cooperate with their employers and complete any necessary training and wear any personal protective equipment issued by the employer.
Enforcing officers representing the local authority, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
or other government agencies have many powers including:
– Right of entry.
– To bring a policeman or other expert.
– Bring equipment, materials and use them.
– Examine, inspect, investigate, dismantle.
– Direct that things or places are left undisturbed.
– Require anyone to give facilities and/or assistance and to provide advice.
– Take measurements, photographs, recordings.
– Take samples from premises or atmosphere.
– Interview people and obtain signed statements of truth.
– Inspect and take copies of documents, entries in books and other paper or digital records.
– Issue enforcement notices.
– Initiate prosecution.
– Any other power to do their job.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can now charge a fee for this “intervention”.
Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982
This Act requires that any person providing a service in the course of a business should
provide that service with reasonable care and skill (Section 13).
Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977
This Act states that any term which attempts to exclude or limit the following liabilities will be ineffective.
Liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence (Section 2).
Liability for other negligence (unless the term satisfies the reasonableness test set out in the Act (Section 2).
Health and safety consultant London
The Health and Safety at Work Act requires employers to maintain a healthy and safe system
of work, which, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999,
should be achieved through risk assessment.
The Act requires that employers with five or more employees to carry out a risk assessment and record the significant findings.
A good manager takes action. Book a call from management consultants London to discuss a cost effective risk assessment.
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