Personal injury and criminal law

An accident at work or a breach of health and safety rules, in addition to many other implications such as the likelihood of injury claims, can also involve investigations by the Health and Safety Executive, local authority or police and potentially prosecutions, which can be very expensive in terms of fines and legal costs, but also create very bad publicity.

In addition to financial penalties for safety breaches of up to £20,000.00 if the breach did not result in a fatality and an unlimited fine if someone was killed as a result of the breach. A significant change under new law, the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 is a statutory offence making it far more likely that a fatality will result in personal liability either for directors of limited companies or for partners in a partnership. The new Act also has a potentially fairly wide ambit in terms of who may be charged and convicted which may go beyond the directors or partners as the case may be as the definition in the Act is that “senior management” may be held culpable.