Many employers view health and safety as a necessary evil, and feel aggrieved that it impacts so much on their business, but if you do run a business it is crucial to ensure that you stay within the law, as the consequences of not doing so can be terrible for you and also for your workforce.

There are so many reasons why you need to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act and its associated regulations and the first reason is because it is the law. You have a legal responsibility to keep your staff safe whilst they are at work, as far as possible.

Breaches Of Health And Safety

It is unsafe to support a truck with two lengths of wood

Image by Wapster

Breaches of health and safety law are serious and you may face a fine, and if the breach is very serious, there is the potential to be given a prison sentence. The outcome of your health and safety breach is likely to be reported in the media and your clients, customers and staff are unlikely to look favourably on you as a result and this could mean that you will lose customers and therefore money.

Other potential issues which may happen if you continue to breach health and safety regulations are that your staff will become frustrated and annoyed that you do not care about their well being. As a result, they may not work so hard and they may be absent from work more. On top of their disillusionment with you and your business, if they have an accident and are injured you will be responsible for their injuries and you will be liable to pay them compensation.

Serious Breaches

In very serious accidents, where an employee is killed and you have neglected your health and safety requirements, you may be charged with corporate manslaughter too. You will not only have to deal with the financial fall out because there is an unlimited fine attached to this charge, but you will also have to deal with the emotional consequences of knowing that one of your staff died as a result of your negligence.

So you really do need to ensure that you take your health and safety responsibilities seriously and that you protect your staff as you are required to do. There is lots of advice available to ensure that you understand what you need to do by law, but if you already have an employee who is seeking compensation following an accident at work then you should speak to a specialist solicitor about what you should do next.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our employment law services, please call us on 0800 142 2775 or reply to this email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).