Blackfords LLP

Health & safety

The Business Crime and Regulatory Teams have extensive experience in dealing with all types of health & safety matters. The teams are extremely pro-active in this field and have national coverage.

The teams advise and represents individuals, companies and trades organisations and are recognised market leaders in health and safety representation across all industrial and employment sectors, including the health sector, care homes, construction, education, road and rail.

Health & Safety Offences

In addition, or independent to any alleged criminal offences, there may also be breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. A breach could lead to a prosecution of a company, organisation or the self-employed for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees or others affected by the work being done.

Similar prosecutions can be taken against individuals, who are directors or senior managers or anyone in a place of work who fails to take reasonable care of either themselves or other people.

Investigations of Health & Safety allegations

The main regulatory bodies that can investigate and prosecute businesses and individuals under the Health & Safety at Work Act are the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Local Authorities (LA) and Office of Road and Rail (ORR).

These bodies can, as part of the investigation process, invite organisations and/or individuals suspected of committing a health & safety offence for an interview under caution, conducted under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. These interviews are commonly known as a ‘PACE interview’. If this happens it is extremely important that legal advice is obtained immediately.

Pre and Post Incident advice and assistance

The immediate aftermath of a workplace incident and or fatality is a crucial time for any business or organisation. There will be the requirement to produce policies and documents to the investigators, identify relevant witnesses and deal with a whole range of other issues. Often, panic and confusion can set in and that is why it is extremely important to be able to rely on lawyers with the expertise and knowledge to assist in taking control of the situation.

This will include dealing with the authorities, including the police and advising on sometimes complex issues. By taking this advice at the earliest opportunity, our clients can avoid or at least the post any potentially adverse outcome of the post incident investigation.

Likewise, our Regulatory Team can offer advice and assistance in having the appropriate policies and procedures in place which will hopefully avoid the risk of a subsequent prosecution or enforcement action.

Training and advice can be provided to ensure that every effort is being made by a business to comply with its legal obligations and its health and safety management.

The experience within the team of providing both pre and post incident advice and assistance comes from years of dealing with the authorities and representing and defending businesses and individuals following a workplace incident where serious injury or death occurs.

Please speak with any of our key contacts for assistance with any of these issues.

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