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Whether you are an individual or a company, an investigation or prosecution in relation to alleged health and safety breaches, or corporate manslaughter, can be stressful and can take up an enormous amount of resources.
New tough sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences (similar to those for environmental offences) mean that the courts can now impose fines in excess of £10 million. The courts have the power to effectively put organisations out of business if they believe breaches are sufficiently serious. Individuals can also face the prospect of a prison sentence in certain circumstances.
Adverse publicity following a major accident can also have serious financial and reputational implications.
Our areas of expertise
We are able to offer practical and strategic advice and assistance in respect of:
- health and safety
- environmental safety
- food safety and hygiene
- transport and haulage safety issues
- fire safety
- agricultural safety
- road and rail safety
Our experienced team can help both individuals and companies in a variety of circumstances, such as dealing with:
- immediate site support for individuals and companies following an incident / accident
- evidence gathering and requests for information following an incident / accident or alleged breach of health and safety, fire safety or environmental legislation
- supporting board members and employees during initial investigation into the cause of an incident, and considering the company’s incident response protocols
- responding to a prohibition / improvement / alteration / fees for intervention notice
- advice and representation prior to and during an interview under caution, or voluntary interview conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), police, fire authorities and / or local authorities
- advice and representation in court
- negotiating alternative methods to prosecution with any regulatory authority when dealing with alleged health and safety breaches
The Legal 500 (2021) says our team "has a strong offering for clients in the construction, real estate, retail and charity sectors, as well as for trustees and insolvency practitioners."
When to ask for advice
It is important that organisations and individuals receive the right advice in the initial stages of an investigation – the right approach at the outset is key to obtaining the best possible resolution for our clients.
Often when instructed at an early stage, we are able to prevent a prosecution from happening altogether or greatly reduce any fine that the court might impose at a later date.
Preventing health and safety issues arising
We regularly conduct talks and workshops with client organisations to assist them with proactive health and safety management, and to help them to ensure that they are in compliance with current health and safety regulations. It is important to help focus on the important issues which will help avoid any breaches occurring in the first place.
Please contact Kizzy Augustin, or Jae Carwardine or if you would like to discuss any matter, or if you would like us to visit you to speak about best practice and review your health and safety policies and protocols. Alternatively you can complete our enquiry form.
Charges are usually based on our hourly rates plus administrative charges and disbursements. We can also offer fixed fee rates for certain types of work. We will provide you with an initial estimate of your likely legal costs, and will update this as your requirements or the circumstances of the work change.