Health and Safety Executive Prosecution Solicitors
Being found to be in breach of the law following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive can be incredibly distressing, as well as damaging for your business and its reputation. If you have failed a Health and Safety Executive investigation, it is strongly advised that you seek immediate legal representation and guidance.
The penalties for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) can be severe. Companies and individuals can be prosecuted for breaching the legislation, which could lead to an unlimited fine and a prison sentence in the worst case scenarios.
Our Health and Safety Executive solicitors can be on hand with expert support and guidance if you are facing a potential prosecution, delivering a robust defence on your behalf to try and halt any investigation against you. We will ensure that you are aware of your rights and that they are protected during any legal action.
We represent individuals and companies on a wide range of associated legal issues, including:
- Health and safety incidents in the workplace
- Fire safety offences
- Intervention, enforcement and prohibition notices
- Corporate manslaughter
- Representation at court proceedings
- Advice in relation to health and safety policies and compliance
If you are facing allegations of breaching health and safety regulations, contact Nelson Guest & Partners as soon as possible for a free 10-minute initial consultation. This will allow us to discuss your situation in detail and your available options. We have detailed experience in defending individuals and businesses accused of failing a Health and Safety Executive investigation and hold an excellent track record in respect of the results we are able to achieve for our clients.
Speak to our Health and Safety Executive prosecution solicitors in London
If you have been charged with or are being investigated in respect of a health and safety breach, our legal experts can help you fight the allegations against you.
How our team can help with a Health and Safety Executive investigation or charge
Our regulatory defence team can work alongside you and your business, taking a detailed look into the circumstances of the Health and Safety Executive investigation and what allegations have been made.
From here, we can work to achieve the best possible outcome, establishing a robust defence that takes a detailed look at every aspect of your case and ensuring that you are fully prepared for any interview or hearing you are asked to attend.
If court proceedings are unavoidable, we can support you at every stage of the process, ensuring that you receive robust support and representation at every turn.
Our Health and Safety Executive investigation defence fees
We offer fixed fee health and safety investigation defence and representation, meaning you will know from the start how much the work involved will cost.
For further information in respect of our fees and the work covered, see our fees page.
Health and Safety Executive prosecution FAQs
What is the Health and Safety Executive?
The Health and Safety Executive is the national regulator for workplace health and safety. Its primary function is to reduce and prevent work-related injury, illness and death. It is an executive non-departmental public body that is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions.
It completes these objectives by promoting safer working practices, carrying out associated research, developing health and safety policies and strategies and ensuring compliance with health and safety law through inspections, investigations and prosecutions.
What powers does the Health and Safety Executive have?
Health and Safety Executive inspections are typically carried out by Health and Safety inspectors. Inspections can either be proactive, for example, as a part of a health and safety initiative, or they may be reactive, such as if there has been an incident or complaint.
To effectively carry out their duties, Health and Safety Executive inspectors have a range of legal powers given to them by the HSWA.
A Health and Safety Executive inspector has the power to do the following:
- Enter a businesses’ premises
- Examine or investigate a business
- Stop work
- Take photographs, measurements or samples
- Take possession of specific articles or substances
- Ask questions
- Issue cautions
- Issue enforcement notices
- Initiate prosecutions
Following an inspection, the Health and Safety Executive can take a number of actions, depending on whether any issues have been identified. This may include:
- No action
- Verbal or written advice
- Formal caution
- Improvement notice
- Prohibition notice
What is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974?
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) is the primary piece of legislation that covers occupational health and safety in Great Britain. The legislation sets out the general duties that:
- Employers have towards their employees
- Employees have to themselves and to each other
- Certain self-employed people have towards themselves and others
How constitutes a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974?
Adequately fulfilling the requirements of the HSWA will mean something different for every business. That being said, there are a number of key points which will be shared between most businesses, those being:
- Providing a safe place of work. This means that the physical workplace is free from hazards and is considered to be up to standard
- Safe equipment is provided to employees
- Employees are properly trained and are aware of their responsibilities
- Thorough risk assessments are carried out
- Someone within a business oversees health and safety
- Proper facilities are provided
Failing to adhere to any of these points could constitute a breach of the HSWA. If spotted by a Health and Safety Executive inspector, this could lead to the application of certain penalties.
What penalties can you face for breaching the Health and Safety Work Act?
The penalty you could face following a Health and Safety Executive prosecution will vary depending on a number of different factors, such as the nature of the offence, who was affected and what measures should have been taken to prevent the issue from occurring.
Since 2015, there has been no maximum fine for serious health and safety failures. This means that the fine you could receive following a prosecution is technically unlimited.
If a case heads to Crown Court, and you are subsequently found guilty, then you could also face a potential prison sentence.
It should go without saying that if you are facing a Health and Safety Executive prosecution, you should seek legal advice from specialist regulatory solicitors at the earliest opportunity. Timely legal advice and representation could mean all the difference during investigation proceedings.
Get in touch with our Health and Safety Executive solicitors about an investigation or charge
If you have been charged with or are being investigated in respect of a breach of health and safety regulations, our legal experts can help you fight the allegations against you and reach a positive outcome.
For further information in respect of our wider services, see our Regulatory Law page.