Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Where Next for Corporate Manslaughter?

There is a proverb that goes along the lines of:
"The Wheels of Justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine"
There are many variations along the same theme, but the essential idea remains the same that sometimes we have to wait patiently to see the ultimate results of justice.
There is a sense in which that proverb applies to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act. We have now seen three companies prosecuted under the Act but none of them has come close to the guidance on penalties published by the Sentencing Guidelines Council.
Read on about the prosecutions brought so far.


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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

British Safety Council Manifesto

Health and Safety Under Attack

Over the past few years, health and safety has had something of a rough ride. It seems to have become the excuse of choice for justifying poor decision making or simply not wanting to do something.

All kinds of myths pop up repeatedly in the media, even when there is clear evidence that they are groundless.
Health and Safety has become virtually synonymous with bureaucratic red tape and some politicians seem to take delight in attacking it. It has been blamed for 'stifling business and holding back economic growth'.

EDP Consultants have been working hard to combat this negative attitudes and to promote the positive benefits that good health and safety management brings to the workforce and to the prosperity of the organisations they work for.

Read on for information about a new initiative that you can join in with to bring a degree of sense and order to the situation.


Monday, 26 March 2012

Impact of the Budget on Your Health and Safety

Whilst many will have heard the Chancellor's Budget Speech this past week, or at least caught the highlights in the news, something that will have escaped the notice of most people is the Government's commitment to "scrap or improve 84 percent of Health and Safety Regulation"

That sounds quite fearsome, particularly the quoted figure of 84%, which begs the question of how such a figure could have been calculated.

In practice, when we read the proposed changes in more detail, the impression that comes across is the Government's commitment to:

Read the rest of this article to understand the Government's plans to change Health and Safety Regulations over the next couple of years.


Monday, 5 March 2012

How do RIDDOR Changes Affect You?

Changes come into force in April 2012 that affect your responsibilities to formally report Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences.  We reported in February 2011 on the government's intention to introduce these changes.

Existing Requirements

Briefly, employers have a duty to report to the Health and Safety Executive any of the following work related occurrences:
  • Fatalities
  • Serious Injuries
  • Diagnosed Industrial Diseases
  • Certain Near Misses (Dangerous Occurrences)
Read the rest of this article to understand the changes that are to be introduced in April.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

HSE - Fees for Intervention

We now know what the HSE intends to do in regard to charging for its services.

In addition to simply cutting their own costs, the stated aims of the HSE are:

To make those organisations pay who breach health and safety law and to provide a more level playing field so that those who flout the law have less of a competitive edge on more responsible organisations.

The net result will be that those who are found to be in breach of the law will have additional costs to pay over and above any fines that might be imposed by the courts -

- And those additional costs could be substantial.


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Cost Hike for Health + Safety

In March 2011, the Department for Work and Pensions published their latest plans on the reform of Health and Safety in Britain.

In their report entitled "Good Health and Safety, Good for Everyone" they stated their intention to introduce provisions that would recover the costs for breaches of health and safety law. These provisions are now expected to come into force as early as April next year.

The actual recovery of costs is not up for debate. However, the systems for implementing cost recovery are currently the subject of consultation and you can have your say.

Read on for the full story of how these costs might impact you and how you can make your views known:


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Health and Safety for Royal Wedding

It seems incredible that when we are looking forward to an event that is of world-wide interest – we're referring to the Royal Wedding of course – that a government department finds it necessary to warn officials not to use Health and Safety as an excuse for suppressing celebrations.

Not everybody, of course, is in favour of royalty but even the most ardent anti-royalist would prefer to make their case on the basis of facts, and reasoned argument rather than seek to disrupt the event by calling on regulations that are designed to save lives in the workplace rather than constrain national celebrations.
Nevertheless, the Health and Safety Executive felt it necessary to issue a press release advising how to respond to officials who attempt to cite Health and Safety as a reason for constraining celebrations of the royal wedding.

This is another attempt by the HSE and the government to re-focus attention on the true reason for, and the genuine benefits from Health and Safety legislation. It is another step in the government's campaign, which began with the publication of Lord Young's report in October 2010, to free health and safety from the unhealthy and unhelpful reputation that has developed in recent years.

Chris Grayling - Minister for Health and Safety – is quoted as saying:
"The Royal Wedding will be a great national occasion, and I want to reassure everyone that they can have street parties with friends and family and bring out the bunting to celebrate in time-honoured British tradition. There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to ban these celebrations on the grounds of health and safety."

The overall message, therefore is to use common sense, take care and thoroughly enjoy the occasion,

Read the HSE Press Release