Health & Safety - Board Members' Liability 

Board members are individually and collectively responsible for ensuring that their organisation complies with health and safety legislation.

Where a health and safety offence is committed and board members are found to have neglected their responsibilities; or their actions have attributed to the health and safety incident; or they have knowingly allowed unsafe activities to be undertaken; or purposely connived to avoid their responsibilities they can be personally prosecuted.  Penalties for health and safety offences include unlimited fines and up to 2 years imprisonment.

Sentencing guide lines which came into force in March 2016 have the potential to increase the number of prosecutions and fines for health and safety offences, as the law courts will now look at whether there was potential for a much more serious injury to have occurred and sentence according to the level of risk rather than the level of harm.

The good news for board members is that it is relatively simple for them to avoid personal liability, by ensuring that their organisation has effective health and safety management, authorising sufficient funding and regularly checking their organisation’s health and safety performance.

Business owners and business partners should note that they have the same personal responsibilities and liabilities for health and safety as board members. 

Contact us for further advice and assistance.

"........adding value to safety."

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