Health & Safety
“A formidable presence in the health and safety market, bringing the firm’s expertise in criminal law to bear on its defence work.”
We advise organisations, directors and employees across all sectors regarding health and safety investigations and prosecutions. We have particular expertise in defending serious, complex and high-profile matters, for example following fatal accidents, major disasters or other business-critical issues.
Following the implementation of the Sentencing Council’s ‘Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences’ Definitive Guideline, penalties for these offences have risen significantly. Directors and senior managers, as well as employees, risk investigation and prosecution in respect of imprisonable offences. An organisation’s response to an incident, particularly at the outset, is critical to the outcome. We provide specialist advice to support clients in navigating this complex area.
Our strategic, proactive and commercial approach achieves outstanding results. We focus on the best-possible outcome and minimising reputational harm, ensure the minimum of business interruption and recognise the need to maintain strong ongoing working relationships with regulators.
We are ranked for our health and safety expertise in the legal directories, including Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. We are included in GIR’s list of the world’s leading investigations firms and named as the leading firm in the ‘Financial Crime & Fraud & Regulatory’ category of The Times Best Law Firms 2021.
We provide specialist advice and representation to organisations and individuals in areas such as:
- Crisis management.
- Responding to Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Police, Office of Rail and Road, and Local Authority investigations following workplace deaths, serious accidents, and site inspections.
- Regulators’ powers, including compelled requests for documentation and witness interviews.
- Legally privileged internal investigations.
- Notification of Contraventions (NoC) and the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme, including querying and disputing HSE invoices.
- Challenging enforcement notices (e.g. improvement notices and prohibition notices).
- Remedial action.
- Proactively engaging with regulators to minimise the risk of enforcement action.
- Requests to attend PACE interviews under caution.
- Defending prosecutions for alleged breaches of health and safety law, corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court.
- Coroners’ inquests and inquiries.
Advising a global steel producer regarding a joint Police and HSE corporate manslaughter and health and safety investigation following a double fatality caused by a major explosion at a steelworks.
Successful ‘no further action’ achieved in respect of a Local Authority fatal incident investigation into a Major London Music Venue.
Successful ‘no further action’ achieved in respect of a health and safety investigation following the high-profile partial collapse of a leading West End theatre ceiling.
Advising a Facilities Management and Support Services Company in relation to a joint fatal accident investigation by the British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road.
Advising a construction company and director regarding a joint Police and HSE investigation into corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter and alleged breaches of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
Advising a utilities company in relation to an inquest and HSE prosecution after a worker was fatally electrocuted following contact with overhead powerlines.
Successfully defending a removal company in relation to an HSE investigation following an incident which resulted in life-changing injuries.
Successfully defending a leading London theatre following a potential lead exposure incident.
Advising a manufacturing client regarding the successful appeal of an HSE prohibition notice with significant cost implications.
BCL regularly advises organisations, directors and employees in the related areas of corporate manslaughter, health and safety, fire safety, and the environment, with particular expertise in fatal accidents and major disasters.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 created for the first time a single legal framework regarding fire safety for commercial premises and communal parts of domestic premises.
BCL conducts internal investigations on behalf of corporates and other organisations concerned about potential criminal or regulatory breaches…