Litigation since 1880

The Serious Consequences of Non-Compliance with Health and Safety Legislation

In a world where businesses are heavily regulated compliance with health and safety legislation stands out as a critical obligation for companies and company directors. Failure to adhere to these regulations can lead to severe consequences, as highlighted by Ray Gribben, Legal Director.

Prosecution Risk:

At its most severe consequence, a company failing to comply with health and safety legislation can face prosecution by the Crown. The burden of proof lies on the company, requiring them to demonstrate that they took all reasonably practicable measures to prevent non-compliance. However, successfully defending such charges is rare, with the onus on the company to prove it took all the preventive steps it could reasonably have been expected to .

Personal Accountability:

Beyond corporate liability, company directors and managers can also be held personally liable for any non-compliance. Through their acquiescence, connivance, or neglect, they risk facing prosecution alongside the company. This potential personal liability underscores the gravity of ensuring adherence to health and safety regulation at all levels of an organisation.

Director Disqualification:

In cases where directors are convicted of health and safety offences, director disqualification will also be on the horizon. This too is a stark reminder of the individual repercussions which can arise from failure by directors to ensure compliance with health and safety laws.

Financial and Reputational Fallout:

The repercussions of non-compliance extend beyond companies and individuals facing possible unlimited fines or even imprisonment. Reputational damage on conviction will go hand in hand with legal penalties through publication by the HSE in regulatory registers and reporting in the wider Press and on social media. Such damage can be wide-ranging and long lasting with companies requiring to report any convictions in tendering processes, which will clearly count against them in an already competitive market.

If you require legal advice on any of the matters raised in this article please contact Ray Gribben .