Category Archives: Accident Advice

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Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007: Quick Facts

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force on 6 April 2008, and introduced a new offence for prosecuting companies and other organisations where there has been a gross failure in the management of health and safety with fatal consequences. This topic outlines types of manslaughter and some of the key areas of the Act.

  • Corporate manslaughter is a type of involuntary manslaughter (killing by gross negligence).
  • Before the 2007 Act, successful corporate manslaughter prosecutions were extremely rare because of the need to identify a “directing mind” of the company who was guilty.
  • Unlimited fines may be imposed, and the courts may force companies to publicise their convictions through a publicity order, leading to severe damage to reputation.
  • Under the legislation, individual directors will not be liable for any deaths due to a general breach of the duty of care by the firm.
  • Employers should take steps to review their management structures and health and safety policies.

Contact us should you require assistance.


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Accident Reporting: Quick Facts

Incident/accident reporting is an important aspect of monitoring or measuring safety performance and allows an organisation, through investigations, to learn from mistakes and improve health and safety.

It is essential that employers introduce a reporting system in the workplace for all accidents and incidents, dangerous occurrences, diseases and near misses, for all employees, contractors and visitors. An accident report may also prompt an investigation by the enforcing authority depending on the severity of injury that has either occurred or had the potential to occur.

This topic outlines what an accident report should contain, what should be reported on in relation to RIDDOR and who is responsible for making reports.

  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) require the “responsible person” to report the following instances to the relevant enforcing authority:
    • deaths
    • certain specified injuries
    • injuries that cause absence for more than seven consecutive days (including days that are not normally worked, such as weekends, but does not include the day of the accident)
    • injuries to members of the public or people not at work where they are taken to hospital for treatment
    • certain diseases and dangerous occurrences. What should be reported?
  • Reports under RIDDOR must be submitted online. Fatal and specified injuries can also be reported to HSE’s Incident Contact Centre by telephone.
  • All employees must give notice to employers of any personal injury caused by an accident at work. This is usually done by entry of the details into an accident book.
  • An accident reporting policy should be in place to ensure that all procedures are followed correctly.
  • Employees and managers should receive training to raise their awareness of the need to report all incidents and the procedures to follow.

If you require advice, please contact us.


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Protect Workers that are Working In or Near Excavations

Tips to Protect Workers that are Working In or Near Excavations

  1. Undertake a thorough risk assessment to determine how anyone could be hurt when working with excavations. Consider how and when a collapse could occur, or how someone could fall in, for example. Think about the underground cables (such as electricity) that could be in the area.
  2. Support the sides of the excavation properly, and install barriers and covers when work finishes for the day or halts so that no one can fall in. Ensure good levels of lighting around the excavation, especially at night and in the winter months.
  3. Develop and implement a safe system of work for workers to follow, which includes ensuring the excavation is properly boarded, and that it is dug to the correct depth. Ensure workers know the location of any underground cables before starting work.
  4. Train workers on the dangers of working in or near excavations.
  5. Supervise all work activities and ensure that you have a means of providing an emergency evacuation if someone should become injured in an excavation.

Contact us if you require further information.


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Prevent Work at Height Accidents

Accident can be prevented, if the correct procedures are in place . Check today that your workers are protected when working at height.

Tips to Help Prevent Work at Height Accidents

  1. Undertake a risk assessment to work out the hazards associated with each task involving work at height. Determine how workers could fall, be struck or knocked over, and how items could fall from above onto workers and others at ground level.
  2. Whenever possible, avoid the need for working at height by completing the work from ground level, such as by using extendable tools and equipment. If this cannot be done, think about how best to prevent a fall from happening, for example by the use of edge protection and worker restraint systems. If the risk still remains, look to minimise the distance someone could fall by using safety nets or similar.
  3. Segregate vehicles from work at height activities by using fixed barriers. Ensure that activities are co-ordinated and that vehicles operate at a different time to the work at height activity if there is a risk of collision or contact.
  4. Check you have planned the work properly and that there is a safe system of work in place for workers to follow. Ensure the work at height is adequately supervised by a competent person with knowledge of the risks.
  5. Train workers in the use of work at height equipment and safety measures, and discuss the contents of your risk assessments with them, including the importance of implementing the controls provided to reduce identified risks.

Contact Walker Health and Safety Services Limited if you require assistance.