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Hazards and risks


browna

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Hi,

 

I'm doing a course on health and safety in Techncial Production, in the warehouse and on-site.

 

I have found everything else, but I can't find the answer to the following question:

 

 

- What the consequences of management not abiding Acts and Regulations in a health and safety situation?

 

Can you help?

 

Thanks!

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Ultimately, if it goes REALLY badly wrong, people go to jail. New offences in the "Corporate Manslaughter" field have yet to be fully explored in the courts, but the HSE will be keen to see how far they can take it.

 

For example, if one of Virgin's planes crashes, and it is proven that the management chain were aware of the problems, Dicky B could end up in chains for not ensuring the health and safety of his staff. (Please note, this is an example, and I have no reason to doubt their safety culture!) And that is regardless of any other offences.

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No I mean court, penalties, fines?

If you visit the HSE website you can access their prosecution database which lists the penalties imposed on various defendants. They also have a back catalogue of press releases highlighting significant cases.

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- What the consequences of management not abiding Acts and Regulations in a health and safety situation?

 

I'm sure this is spelt out in most text books?

 

Some of the issues are:

 

Costs of sick pay and temporary staff

Production delays and loss of earnings

Damage to stock or equipment

Civil action

Increased insurance premiums or insurance refused

Poor reputation

Prosecution and fines, jail terms

Criminal record

 

Simon

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Or to put it in terms most venue managers might just understand....

 

The insurance company will throw a fit at you, the local council will threaten to (and eventually) pull any kind of permission it has given you (licenses etc) and some of your staff may actually refuse to do stuff...

 

Plus increased risk of the following:

 

Costs of sick pay and temporary staff

Production delays and loss of earnings

Damage to stock or equipment

Civil action

Increased insurance premiums or insurance refused

Poor reputation

Prosecution and fines, jail terms

Criminal record

 

Either way, the local council will send a jobsworth who will tell you that you can't use ladders... :(

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi,

 

I'm doing a course on health and safety in Techncial Production, in the warehouse and on-site.

 

I have found everything else, but I can't find the answer to the following question:

 

 

- What the consequences of management not abiding Acts and Regulations in a health and safety situation?

 

Can you help?

 

Thanks!

 

 

iF YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY OF HEALTH + SAFETY NEGLIGENCE AND ANYONE DIES, BE IT STAFF, SUBBIE, OR EVEN A VISITOR, YOU FACE 7 YEARS PORRIDGE.

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For goodness sake! Please don't make statements like this

iF YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY OF HEALTH + SAFETY NEGLIGENCE AND ANYONE DIES, BE IT STAFF, SUBBIE, OR EVEN A VISITOR, YOU FACE 7 YEARS PORRIDGE.

 

The Health and Safety commission make it quite clear

 

 

Penalties for Health and Safety Offences

 

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the HSW Act), section 33 (as

amended) sets out the offences and maximum penalties under health and

safety legislation.

Failing to comply with an improvement or prohibition notice, or a court

remedy order (issued under the HSW Act sections 21, 22 and 42

respectively):

Lower court maximum £20 000 and/or 6 months’

imprisonment

Higher court maximum Unlimited fine and/or 2 years’

imprisonment

Breach of sections 2-6 of the HSW Act, which set out the general duties of

employers, self-employed persons, manufacturers and suppliers to safeguard

the health and safety of workers and members of the public who may be

affected by work activities:

Lower court maximum £20 000

Higher court maximum Unlimited fine

Other breaches of the HSW Act, and breaches of ‘relevant statutory provisions’

under the Act, which include all health and safety regulations. These impose

both general and more specific requirements, such as requirements to carry

out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment or to provide suitable personal

protective equipment:

Lower court maximum £5000

Higher court maximum Unlimited fine

Contravening licence requirements or provisions relating to explosives.

Licensing requirements apply to nuclear installations, asbestos removal, and

storage and manufacture of explosives. All entail serious hazards which must

be rigorously controlled.

Lower court maximum £5000

Higher court maximum Unlimited fine and/or 2 years’

imprisonment

18 6 As at January 2002. These penalties can change from time to time.

On conviction of directors for indictable offences in connection with the

management of a company (all of the above, by virtue of the HSW Act

sections 36 and 37), the courts may also make a disqualification order

(Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, sections 1 and 2). The courts

have exercised this power following health and safety convictions. Health and

safety inspectors draw this power to the court’s attention whenever

appropriate.

Lower court maximum 5 years’ disqualification

Higher court maximum 15 years’ disqualification

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Prosecutions are a “last resort” and H&S inspectors have a number of other tools, including informal (verbal) warnings, formal (written) warnings, Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices. The first two are only used for minor indiscretions, but either kind of notice leaves a “black mark” against the company/person/organisation it was served against and force you to undertake certain corrective actions otherwise you would face prosecution.

 

An inspector might go straight for a prosecution if previous warnings had not been heeded or there was a serious accident, and the HSE do produce guidelines on the level of action an inspector should take in certain situations.

 

Under Health and Safety Law (which is part of UK Criminal Law), the onus is usually on the defendant to prove beyond reasonable doubt that all necessary precautions were put into place and due diligence was exercised. In most other criminal cases (e.g. murder), it would be up to the prosecution to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt – the exact opposite of what happens with H&S. I find this a bit alarming at times!

 

Slightly outside the original question, there is also liability in the Civil Courts under the Tort of Negligence. Put simply, we can be sued for failing to take reasonable care for another person, where there was a breach of the Common Law “duty of care” owed to that person and that lead to some kind of injury or loss. Civil Law and Criminal Law are separate areas of the UK’s legal system (although there is sometimes a bit of an overlap). You could be both sued and prosecuted for the same incident!

 

I’ll summarise: The three reasons oft quoted for H&S are:

Legal (both criminal and civil law applies)

Economic (direct and indirect costs)

Moral (it isn’t good to be seen as causing injury to workers or the public)

 

Lyn

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