Health and Safety


Health and Safety Legislation (important stuff)
Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 
A Simple Outline.
An organisation to which the Act applies is committing a crime if the way in which its activities are managed or organised causes a person’s death, and amounts to a gross breach of a relevant 'duty of care' owed by the organisation to the dead person.
A duty of care means any of the following duties owed by it under the law of negligence —

  1. a duty owed to its employees or to other people working for the organisation or performing services for it;
  2. a duty owed as an occupier of premises;
  3. a duty owed in connection with—
    1. the supply by the organisation of goods or services for
    2. the carrying on by the organisation of any construction or maintenance operations,
    3. the carrying on by the organisation of any other activity on a commercial basis, or
    4. the use or keeping by the organisation of any plant, vehicle or other thing

A breach of a duty of care by an organisation is a “gross” breach if the conduct falls far below what can reasonably be expected of the organisation in the circumstances.
An organisation is guilty of an offence under the Act only if the way in which its activities are managed or organised by its senior management is a substantial element in the breach of the duty of care.
“Senior management”, in relation to an organisation, means the people who manage the organisation and make decisions.
The organisations to which the new laws apply are corporations (companies), police forces and partnerships that are also employers. 

Relevant legislation for those responsible for the safe operation of vehicles used in the course of business activities:
Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to:

  • provide a duty of care to employees, and to the general public
  • establish and communicate a Health & Safety policy
  • provide safe handling and maintenance of work articles
  • provide necessary information & training on the above

and requires employees to:

  • take reasonable care of their own health & safety
  • take reasonable care of others who may be affected by their actions or omissions

Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to:

  • complete a suitable & sufficient risk assessment of every risk to employees, and others not in their employ (Regulation 3)

  • establish effective monitoring & reviews of all preventative and protective measures (Regulation 4)

  • provide appropriate health surveillance where necessary  (Regulation 6)

  • provide relevant information to their employees about the risks identified by the assessment (Regulation 10 {1})

  • provide relevant training on recruitment, or on a relevant change of responsibility/risk
  • repeat relevant training periodically
  • train during working hours
  • take into account capabilities of employees when allocating tasks (Regulation 13)

  • use all work equipment in accordance with any training or instruction given, and must inform employers of any shortcomings (Regulation 14)
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 also states that

  • all employees should have adequate training to operate any work equipment
The Road Safety Act 2006 contains certain relevant updates of existing legislation

  • a new offence of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving, which will carry a custodial sentence of up to five years
  • the penalty for careless or inconsiderate driving doubles, from £2500 to £5000
  • using a hand held phone whilst driving and, as a result, failing to have proper control of the vehicle, will attract three penalty points and a £60 fixed penalty fine
  • there will be graduated fines for speeding offences, dependant upon the actual speed recorded within a specific limit.
The Health Act 2006 also has implications for those responsible for business vehicles

  • Smoking is not permitted in vehicles that are likely to be shared by more than one employee
  • There is a mandatory requirement to display approved 'No Smoking' decals visibly in each compartment likely to carry personnel

To find out more click here.

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