Weighing up health and safety compliance against prosecution

Nobody has ever argued Health and Safety isn’t important…

What they argue is that health and safety hinders progress, restricts workers from doing a full day’s work, limits managers time by increasing paperwork and it’s is a near impossibility to show and guide every worker safely all of the time everyday.

We know you should never decide to ignore health and safety, to do only the bare minimum and place employees and contractors at risk, but let’s be honest, companies do daily, in fact fines in 2018 have just passed £70million with over 677 different companies prosecuted and many hundreds of contravention notices and fees for intervention applied.


Directors prosecutions at an all time high

As well as the accumulation of £70m fines and over 677 different companies prosecuted for failures against the health and safety at work act (HSWA), the number of directors prosecuted are also at there highest… in August 2018 when the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) successfully prosecuted 5 directors*

As a director myself who was made aware of my responsibilities and requirements when it was too late, I did not have the luxury you have to weigh up compliant H&S against prosecution.


Are you Proactive or Reactive?

So when should you check your systems and procedures are working and compliant with the current legislation? … Obviously before it’s too late.

Are you a director who…

  • is doing something about the problem or using hope as a tactic?
  • implementing change or ignoring the problem?
  • adding intelligent operations or allowing bad safety cultures?
  • want’s a solid and reputable business or who see’s imprisonment as very unlikely/never going to happen to me?

You maybe thinking , I have external H&S advisors that help and nothing’s ever gone wrong before, so I really don’t need to worry, do I?
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states Everything Practicably possible” so if you could have done it, you should have done it.

So, providing your current standards, procedures, systems, internal and external resource are all combining to prove the company and you have done ‘everything practicably possible’, then you are correct, you don’t need to worry.
But remember, fines are now based on what could’ve happened, so a worker or contractor doesn’t necessarily need to be injured for the HSE to build it’s case!


You don’t always need more!

I have always been taught as an engineer to firstly review the problem and then look to remove or reduce in ensuring I have the problem nailed, then I can start in engineering what is needed to solve the problem. A very efficient and effective process…

If a worker hasn’t completed the required form, don’t get him to fill out another form stating he didn’t fill out the first, if you see a toolbox at the bottom of the ladders, don’t go and get a intervention card (as you have been told to fill out 30 this month), fill it in and send it up the managerial chain, simply move the toolbox to a safe location removing the problem, don’t place multiple signs around the workplace engineering in a solution if you can better control or mitigate the risk by other means, again, engineering out the problem, and putting workers in a briefing room weekly to tick a box about ‘Work Safe’ is not a solution for health and safety compliance and only increases the worker’s and company’s time pressures.

So if we look at this article’s opening paragraph; workers perceiving H&S as a hindrance, managers believing forms and paperwork are boring and needless and safety managers unable to be in contact with all worker’s all of the time, these are our 21st century problems, if we engineer all these out, we then get closer to the ultimate solution, the holy grail in achieving a profitable business and a fully compliant health and safety management system.


Negative tipped scale

Before we show you our holy grail for H&S, allow you to see how easy health and safety can be and how our technology reduces the need for engineering in solutions, lets recap on November 2018 prosecutions…


Remember the video you have just watched is only ‘July’s prosecutions’ and does not include all material breaches, interventions, or enforcement notices. For a full list, you can read each prosecution in full using our in-courts page links. 


Tipping the scale in your favour

So you may be thinking, I failed to fully understand the scale of the problem, the risk me and my company faces when even the low level hazards are not covered and lastly how the law has changed from back in my day when we just got on with it!

Not too worry, let’s move to the other end of the scale, to a place where the sky is blue, the water is warm and safety is not a burden.

This video shows a basic day in the life of using Safety PAL, for workers, managers and contractors, the video shows how interactive all your company polices and standards are, how workers have the tools to stay safe wether office based or mobile, how time is better managed and how operational costs are reduced due to using one single and complete H&S management system.

If you’re a plumber or roofing company of 2 people, a medium manufacturer or electrical SME with over 50 workers or a global force of 10,000 employees, then Safety PAL is the only system that provides you the tools to prove you have done everything practicably possible.


What next?

We don’t pressure you to subscribe, this is pointless as it won’t help you engage with the change needed, and you know better than I, the un-engaging just waste everyone’s time.

Unless you can see the need for change, see the benefits and seriously understand proof is the only thing that can protect your business from the HSE radar, then watch both ends of the scale videos again, Bad things or Good solution then get in touch with us

Getting in touch; simply use the form below, we will chat, get an understanding on how much help or assistance you actually need, then tailor Safety PAL to suit your needs.




Useful links

*all information detailed is directly taken from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) news and policy on prosecuting individuals.

What are fees for intervention http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/what-is-ffi.htm

2018 HSE press releases http://press.hse.gov.uk/release-type/press/


Thank you for reading, as always, we are here to help, so please get in touch

Karl Spencer
Founder and Managing Director

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