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MADE IN THE EAST MIDLANDS


FEATURE


ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE


A worker no longer needs to be injured for you to be prosecuted


The Government is failing to educate business owners about definitive sentencing guidelines. This is where the company and their directors can be prosecuted for health and safety (H&S) violations, even where no harm was caused. H&S offences have always been concerned


with failures to manage risks, but now they do not require proof that the offence caused actual harm. In simple terms this means: ‘A person does not actually need to be injured for a company or director to be prosecuted. The offence is in creating a risk of harm’. Karl Spencer, Director of Safety PAL, said:


“As someone who learnt the hard way, I have dedicated five years to helping other directors and business owners, protecting their investment and them from prosecution. Not many UK directors know that when their details are entered


on the director's register, there are H&S laws and duties placed on them. Prosecutions happen because of failing to deliver sufficient proof you did what the law required, which today will result in a huge fine - and even a long prison sentence. So, take a minute to think, as the director, can you really mitigate your risk - and prove it?”


As a Director, can you prove: • Everyone in the workforce has read and understood their associated risk assessment?


• Every employee has had suitable training for the task they're doing today?


• You are doing what Section 3 of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 requires you to do for non-employees i.e. contractors and members of the public?


The Future of Health and Safety We create Processes, Protection and Proof


business network December 2019/January 2020 59


Karl continued: “Don't feel embarrassed when you say ‘probably not’, because you are not alone. In 2017/18 proceedings instituted by the HSE and Crown Office totalled 2018. The conviction rate was 91%, the average conviction fine was £99,746, and of the 137 sentences handed out to directors, 50 received an Immediate Custody Sentence.” He concluded: “Do take responsibility as the


Government is not widely advertising the fact that an Enforcing Officer will not be interested in your reasons for failing with compliance – even if you didn’t have the time, resources or money.”


For more information on this topic and other health and safety matters relevant to your business please visit: www.yoursafetypal.com


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