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Be Safer with Burnetts

Be Safer

Health and Safety

The importance of protecting yourself, your employees and the public from workplace dangers is a given for most business owners, but for many, the biggest concern is not that you have taken all the necessary practical measures, but that you have done enough to satisfy the requirements of Health and Safety legislation.

Although the government appears to be encouraging a more common-sense approach to managing Health and Safety risks, the Courts are still being guided to impose enormous fines for breaches: according to their current guidance, fines for breaches of Health and Safety laws which lead to accidents should rarely be less than £500,000.

As an added pressure for businesses in Cumbria, our North West HSE Directorates are also very successful at prosecuting offenders, securing a conviction in 81% of the cases they prosecuted with the average fine nearly doubling to £18,570 according to their latest enforcement statistics. In the North East their success rate is 80%.

As well as giving you the peace of mind that confidence in your policies brings, Burnetts’ Health and Safety advice helps to minimise the risk of successful prosecutions by ensuring that your essential documentation is robust. With our B Safer service, help is a phone call away 24 hours a day so whatever the time of day, we’re there to support you.

Our Health and Safety service provides proportionate and reasonable advice on both compliance with Health and Safety Regulations and support in the face of an HSE investigation or prosecution:

Compliance - reviewing documentation, legal audits, advice on risk assessments and policies and advice on accident investigation.

Defence -  looking after you from the commencement of any HSE investigations, advising on interviews under caution, preparing written statements & handling the matter through the either the Magistrates’ or Crown Court.

Often one of the major factors in cases where big fines are handed down is the lack of health and safety policies and procedures. The fact that little or nothing has been done to assess and minimise risk in a business can often be the most damning evidence the Court hears. The recent introduction of laws such as The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 mean that failure to comply with Health and Safety Legislation can mean more than a financial penalty.

For further information about Burnetts’ Health and Safety service, contact specialist solicitor James Johnston on FREEphone 0808 1783 473 or email hands@burnetts.co.uk

Sources: Prosecution Statistics from  http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/regions/regenf.xls

Who to contact

James Johnston profile photo

James Johnston

James is a Senior Associate and Head of the firm’s Dispute Resolution team.