Do you need a health & safety solicitor?
With companies finding their work practices under increasing scrutiny, it is vital to stay proactive and abreast of the latest issues and regulations when it comes to health and safety.
If you do find yourself under investigation or facing court proceedings, you need to seek specialist advice with a lawyer who has commercial sense and expert knowledge in the field of health and safety. This ensures the right decisions are taken at every stage of the investigation.
Health and safety issues can affect any employer and sometimes even an employee at any given time. It is a highly specialised area that can cover UK and European legislation across a wide range of commercial sectors.
It can be a worrying time for everyone involved to ensure they are acting in the best interests of their company, especially as prosecutions can result in substantial financial penalties and sometimes even imprisonment.
Lawtons Solicitors’ Health & Safety department is part of its specialist private crime team, offering a dedicated service that is available to advise you and work with you. Our team will ensure you are seen to cooperate fully with any investigations and achieve a favourable outcome for you and your business.
Health & safety laws
Health and safety law* in general covers the health, safety and welfare of employees in the workplace. It is governed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and aims to ensure workers operate in a safe environment at all times.
While this can cover every aspect of the workplace, it is largely concentrated on assessing the level of risk employees are under during work hours, including preventative measures in place to stop employees being hurt or taken ill.
Health and safety issues operate alongside civil law, allowing individuals to take a lawsuit against a person, company or organisation.
Where an individual has been injured as a direct result of an accident at work (this must be proven), HSE may also start criminal proceedings and it is imperative that you contact a health and safety solicitor.
Every case is determined on its individual contributing factors. Enforcement options can include anything from simply providing information or advice to full prosecutions. We have the experience to defend the most serious of cases, having been instructed by unions – and on a private basis in most serious breaches, such as where a fatality has occurred.
*Health and Safety Work Act 1974
What is HSE in the UK?
HSE stands for Health and Safety Executive. HSE prevents work-related injury, ill health or death. It is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. HSE is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions but is an executive non-departmental public body.
Who is responsible for workplace health and safety?
In the workplace it is the employer’s duty to protect the health and safety of their employees and other people who might come into contact with the business.
Is a breach of health and safety a criminal offence?
Yes, a breach of health and safety law is a criminal offence. Offences may be dealt with in the magistrates’ court or the Crown Court and/or a fine may be given.