Health and Safety Law
We have been advising clients faced with health and safety enforcement action for public sector and commercial undertakings and their insurers for over 30 years.
Support for businesses
We have the expertise to advise and represent clients where workplace injuries or fatalities have occurred in any workplace. This may be at a factory, office, construction site, care home, healthcare setting or on a farm.
We believe that proactive advice pays dividends in avoiding prosecution or minimising the impact on your organisation and we provide legal and business support to you at the following stages:
- Incident management
- Working with the HSE/Investigator
- Advising (working with outside consultants where applicable) on remedial measures
- Advice on internal investigations and reporting
- Advising on prosecution requests for information
- Attending clients upon formal interviews and giving statements under caution
- Representation in Magistrates’ and Crown Courts
- Representation at Inquests in fatal cases
- Advising on conflicts of interest and separate representation for individuals within organisations
- Advising Directors and Managers on their individual and organisational liability
- Advising on consequences with professional disciplinary and regulatory bodies
Recent health and safety matters
Recent matters that we have handled include the following.
- Advice and representation of a Local Authority prosecuted in the Crown Court for breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations.
- Advice to a business during the investigation of a worker’s serious injury whilst dismantling a decomissioned aircraft.
- Advising a major industrial client on HSE investigation when electrical contractor was fatally electrocuted by faulty wiring when fitting air conditioning unit and full representation at the Inquest.
- Advising a multinational building materials company after a worker lost two fingers in an entanglement incident, representation as advocate in the Magistrates’ Court.
- Advice in a pending HSE investigation involving a worker being thrown into sludge during an unblocking procedure.
- Advising farming corporate on request for HSE formal interview after employee fell from a home-made working platform carried by forklift.
- Advice to a well known public school whose staff were being interviewed under caution after grounds staff were electrocuted when erecting rugby posts under a 33KV overhead power cable. We advised throughout the investigation process and represented as advocate in the magistrates’ court.
- Representing one of Europe’s largest boiler manufacturers throughout the investigation process, at Inquest then in the Crown Court in a prosecution arising out of a fatal fall at a construction site.
- Advice to an NHS Trust in relation to potential health and safety/manslaughter prosecutions following outbreak of C.difficile, also in relation to the defence of linked civil claims by relatives and patients.
- Advice to an NHS Trust on a prosecution over use of an incorrect patient sling and hoist combination. Working with the Trust to respond to Improvement Notices and ensure numerous failings identified by HSE were rectified before the matter came to Court. Representing the Trust at Inquest and subsequently accompanying Trust Managers at interview under caution. We provided representation by Counsel on a plea in mitigation and sentencing in the Crown Court.
- Advice to a Mental Health Trust on the prosecution evidence and interviews by the Police considering charges in the context of Health & Safety and Corporate Manslaughter offences where patients have taken their lives as in-patients whilst under the care and management of the Trust Mental Health units as an alleged result of possible systemic failures in risk assessment, observation policies and ligature point risks.
- Representing NHS Trust staff and managers at Inquest and in contemplated prosecution by the HSE for breach of regulations on manual handling and risk assessment and supervision of employees in circumstances where a patient died as a result of a fall from a bathing hoist. Advising throughout the investigation process including attending interviews under caution with Chief Executive.
- Advice to senior managers of an NHS Trust sharing integrated care under Section 75 of the Health Act 1996 with the local authority where corporate manslaughter charges were contemplated on account of death of an elderly resident from infection and serious pressure sore injuries. Representing the Trust and its staff at Inquest and advising on the civil claim brought by the family of the deceased.
- Advising Trust on prosecution by HSE under S3 H&SWA 1974 where a patient suffered serious burn injuries following staff failure in operating a surgical warming blanket. Full support and preparation of mitigation portfolio. Outcome December 2014, Trust fined £160,000 and £100,000 costs.
- Advising and supporting Trust in Prosecution by HSE under S.3 H&SWA 1974 for failures in risk assessment and agency staff supervision where patient suffered fatal injuries following fall from bathing hoist. Outcome May 2015 TBA, pending referral to Crown Court.
Key Contacts - Health and Safety Law:
Meet the Team:
Chambers High Net Worth Guide
The empathy and reassurance provided during proceedings was of a highly personal nature.
The Legal 500
The team at Brachers is knowledgeable and professional and provides pragmatic advice.
Chambers High Net Worth Guide
They have a very friendly and personal style. They are always professional, helpful and available.