Directors’ Duties for Health and Safety



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Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

If a company commits a health and safety offence then its directors or senior managers can be prosecuted for breaching  section 37 if the offence was due to their consent or connivance or attributable to their neglect.

Section 37 (HSWA) : Can I go to prison?

If convicted, a crown court can impose a sentence of up to two years imprisonment.  The threshold for a custodial sentence is now much lower under the current sentencing guideline for health and safety offences. The court can also disqualify a defendant from being a director under the Disqualification of Directors Act 1986.

Our Expertise

Fisher Scoggins Waters has secured the acquittal of directors prosecuted pursuant to section 37 of the Health And Safety etc Act 1974.  We acted for the managing director in the leading appellate case on directors’ health and safety duties and section 37: R v P Ltd & G [2008] ICR 96, CA. He was acquitted. 

Representation and advice regarding Section 37 (Health and Safety Act) prosecutions of individual managers and company directors

These cases can be complex.  It is essential you seek legal advice at an early stage if the investigation is considering the role of management.

Fisher Scoggins Waters Solicitors have expert knowledge in defending s37 prosecutions. We offer full advice and legal representation throughout the process. Please telephone us on 0207 993 6960 for more information or email Michael Appleby. 

Be Prepared

What are your responsibilities, and are you thinking seriously enough about managing your risks?  Fisher Scoggins Waters can help you establish guidelines for the development of safety policies, and evaluate specific existing policies.  Click here for details of our Risk And Safety Management services.

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