Businesses operating in the UK have a number of important responsibilities with regards to health and safety and it is important that all companies make health and safety at work an absolute priority.
This includes taking appropriate measures to reduce and control the risk of accident or injury in the workplace, and to provide a safe environment in which staff can go about their day-to-day work.
Employers’ general responsibilities are set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, but business owners 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 they are operating in.
Jeremy Sirrell, a Partner at Palmers Solicitors, advises that 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.
“As the old saying goes, prevention is oftentimes better than cure. However, while carrying out regular risk assessments and putting practical measures in place can help to dramatically reduce the likelihood of any incidents, it is impossible to iron-out all possibilities,” Jeremy said.
He added that, if a business is issued with a claim for a health and safety breach, they need to act fast and seek specialist advice sooner rather than later.
“Workplace incidents can have far-reaching implications for both businesses and individuals,” Jeremy said.
“Consequences can potentially range from hefty fines to the disqualification of directors, or even their imprisonment. What’s more, 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.”
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