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HSE to target company directors for prosecution

Tip-off raids have risen by a fifth over the past year

20 May 2014

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Businesses that see health and safety as an area for cost-cutting are at increasing risk of inspection as stats show the Health and Safety Executive is acting on more tip-offs, a law firm has warned.

Figures from Pinsent Masons show that up to the end of March 2014, 4,097 inspections were carried out by the HSE as a result of information from the public and whistle-blowers, which amounts to an 18 per cent rise from the previous year.

Laura Cameron, partner at the firm, said: "If the HSE decides that cost-cutting was a primary reason for the breach of health and safety regulations, they may look to prosecute senior management.

"All directors and senior managers must be aware of their health and safety obligations and ensure that they are carrying them out fully if they want to avoid falling foul of the law.

"In fact, the courts have recently gone as far as considering the pay and benefits received by directors when deciding what penalty to impose on a company.

"HSE has the resources to be very active in responding to tip-offs about businesses breaching regulations and so failing to comply with health and safety regulations in an attempt to cut costs could be a false economy."

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