What Are Government Health and Safety Laws?

The law covering both criminal and civil in relation to The Health and Safety at Work Act. 
What can happen if you’re on the wrong side of the law and the potential consequences that you can face.

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What are the applicable health and safety laws?

Employers must protect workers from getting ill or hurt through their work.

If you don’t do this, action can be taken against you by a regulator such as the HSE = Health and Safety Executive or through the EHO = Environmental Health Office or the local authority.

Under workplace health and safety both criminal and civil law apply.

If action is taken against you, it is likely that a regulator may prosecute under criminal law whereas an affected person may claim under civil law for compensation.

Criminal law and health and safety

Health And Safety Laws

The normal process for not complying with regulations is:

  • Advice either verbally or written
  • Improvement notice or prohibition notice
  • Prosecution

Any of these will have a detrimental effect on your business however they range in scale and cost.  If the HSE are involved they can charge you for the privilege under the FFI or Fee For Intervention scheme.  Under the scheme they can charge you £160 per hour for a HSE inspector’s time.

This is on top of fines or court fees plus the bad reputational damage which costs cannot be quantified will not be an easy pill to swallow.

Civil law and health and safety

Ultimately civil law can bring about compensation claims by someone who has been injured or made ill at work.  The cost of damages from a claim against you can be from hundreds up to millions of pounds.  The judgement against you will compensate for the pain, losses and suffering caused to the person.

Employers’ Insurance

Most employers must have adequate employers’ insurance.  This type of insurance can help you meet a civil claim however this is not always the case.  It all depends upon the policy wording that you agree with your insurer.

Health and Safety at Work

The main piece of legislation is the health and safety at work act (1974).  From this other legislation and regulations sit which we must comply with.  When complying with the law under the health and safety at work act no one has to be harmed, there only has to be a risk of harm which can lead to advice, prohibition or prosecution.

Do you need assistance with complying with health and safety law?

Like many businesses, a lot do not have the competence in house or do not want to undertake this task themselves.  You see a lot of employers don’t have the right skillset themselves or do not have the time because running a business itself is a mammoth task let alone dealing with all the intricacies of health and safety.

This is where sourcing the right help can be a weight lifted off your shoulders.  But like anything it must be undertaken as a buyer beware exercise.  There are lots of health and safety advisors and consultants in the marketplace, but you need to ensure you find the right one for you.

As an employer, managing health and safety is still your legal duty, so you need to find a company that understands you and your company.

Our team of consultants all have different disciplines so we will have the right fit for you and be able to meet your needs. We can help you to assess your exact first aid needs and help you meet the Government’s stringent laws.

If you want to chat through this or any service more then book a call today with one of our health and safety consultants.

Book your FREE health and safety review surgery with our Health and Safety expert John Crockett IMaPS, SIIRSM RSP, ACIOB.

This is a free 30-minute video call where you get the opportunity to discuss and diagnose any current health and safety compliance issues.

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