What happens if I have been issued a claim for a health and safety breach?

Regardless of the shape, sector and size of your business, all directors have a number of important responsibilities with regards to health and safety and it is important to make health and safety at work one of your highest priorities.

You will need to take appropriate measures to reduce and control the risk of accident or injury in the workplace. On top of this, you will also be required to provide a safe environment in which all of your staff can go about their day-to-day work.

Important things to be aware of

Employers’ general responsibilities are set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, but you also need to be aware of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and any other specific rules relevant to the sector you are operating in.

Investing a good level of time and money in health and safety is crucial, as the expense of a potential prosecution and the associated damage this might cause to a business’ reputation can be irreparable.

In many ways, prevention is better than cure, which is why it is important to carry out regular risk assessments and put practical measures in place to help dramatically reduce the likelihood of any incidents.

However, it is impossible to iron-out all possibilities and there is only so far you can go, so you need to be prepared to act accordingly in the event that something goes wrong, too.

Being issued with a claim for a health and safety breach

If you are issued with a claim for a health and safety breach, you need to act fast and seek specialist advice sooner rather than later.

Workplace incidents can have far-reaching implications for both businesses and individuals, and the consequences can potentially range from hefty fines to the disqualification of directors, or even their imprisonment.

Furthermore, for those involved, serious incidents can potentially lead to life-changing injuries or, in the very worst cases, even death.

Due to the magnitude of these situations, businesses need to seek expert advice and representation as soon as they can, to minimise any damage caused to the business and its directors and to mitigate any outcomes of a health and safety investigation.

If you have been issued with a claim for a health and safety breach, or you would like to find out how you can improve health and safety in your workplace, please contact Andrew Firman or Kate Boguslawska.