18-year prison terms for gross negligence manslaughter

Not only have fines for health and safety breaches risen since February 2016, but now prison sentences for gross negligence manslaughter have increased to up to 18 years.  This maximum prison sentence is when a death has occurred from a health and safety incident which is attributed to cost-cutting to save money, or disregarding a very high risk of death.

If you are responsible for people on your sites and workplaces, you must be aware that if you cut costs to save money or disregard the very high risks of death in the workplace, you are putting yourself, your family and your entire business at risk.

THSP Risk Management recommend several ways to mitigate these risks starting with fully understanding your responsibilities.  A great place to begin is to attend the IOSH Safety for Executives and Directors course.

Once you know what you must do to ensure the health and wellbeing off all your employees on your sites, you must ensure your Site Managers and Site Supervisors are aware of their roles and responsibilities.  Knowing how to correctly manage people, will benefit hugely towards a safer workforce. Finally, training your staff in safety awareness helps to change the behaviours of workers, giving them the tools to take responsibility for themselves.

You may not always be able to keep a watchful eye on what is happening on your sites.  We recommend regular site visits to give you a greater overview of what is happening in your work places. THSP’s site visiting service always offers toolbox talks to remind workers of their responsibilities and safe working practices.

Preparation before any work commences including carrying out comprehensive risk assessments, will give you the benefit of knowing that you have considered all potential hazards and risks to workers.  It also pays to spend a bit extra on the correct equipment for the task.

Comprehensive documents including policies and procedures, safety plans and method statements, all need to be prepared and put into practice.

If you can demonstrate that you have done “all that is reasonably practicable” to keep your employees and the public safe within your workplaces, you need have no fear of fines or prison sentences.

We want to help you protect what you’ve got and help ensure that your workers go home safely at the end of each shift.  To arrange a free no-obligation consultation to review your business practices, call THSP today on 03456 122 144.