Arthur Cox can offer specialist health and safety expertise from its Belfast Office, covering the Northern Ireland jurisdiction and also that of England and Wales. We have many years’ experience of advising companies and individuals in relation to health and safety investigations large and small involving the health and safety executive, local authorities and the police.
Arthur Cox offers 24/7 crisis response in the event that a serious accident occurs. Our lawyers can be on site immediately following an accident to help you control the early stages of the investigation including handling media interest, through to preparation for interview under caution and, of course, the court process. We can also advise on other aspects of enforcement action including service and appeal of improvement and prohibition notices.
Health and safety compliance touches all employers and workplaces, with some facing greater risks than others. Recent trends confirm the levels of fines for health and safety offences are increasing with imprisonment now being an option for individuals who contravene the law. Recent legislation and case law in relation to corporate manslaughter has also enhanced focus in this area so it is more important than ever to ensure your organisation has a robust system in place.
With the benefit of experience in advising clients on handling a criminal investigation, we can also offer pragmatic and commercial advice in relation to health and safety compliance including policy reviews and drafting and legal enforcement audits to help you test your safety management system and safety culture. We can also offer a range of seminars and training on topics such as crisis management and accident investigation; driving for work; contractor management; asbestos; and proactive safety management.
Examples of our work include:
- 24/7 crisis response including e.g. attendance at agri-food premises after fatal crushing incident, scene of fatal RTA to client company driver; support in large-scale investigations following these incidents;
- Advising an energy company following a number of workplace fatalities amongst its workforce;
- Advising and representing clients in relation to inquests following workplace deaths;
- Handling a wide range of significant health and safety investigations for companies across a broad range of sectors including food manufacturing, industrial engineering, retail and leisure, energy companies and commercial landlords. Involvement has been from when the incident occurs right through to conclusion of the court procedure;
- Advising and representing individuals as witnesses and those suspected of having committed an offence in their individual capacity.
- Chris Ritchie, Partner