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HSE Investigations Defence
If your business is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the expert solicitors at JMW can assist you at every stage. HSE investigations can be very serious and can have very damaging consequences; however, we have wide and varied experience in helping businesses of all kinds and sizes to successfully avoid fines and prosecution.
The specialist business crime team at JMW can provide assistance at any stage of an HSE investigation. The HSE is responsible for ensuring health and safety standards are maintained across all workplaces and, should a company breach its guidelines, the body's powers range from giving advice and warnings to improvement or prohibition notices, which can result in cautions, prosecutions or severe fines.
The HSE can inspect, investigate, interview, serve notices, enforce its decisions and, if necessary, prosecute in the criminal courts. It can also oblige the subject of an enquiry to disclose a wide range of information. It is therefore vital that you seek legal advice and assistance as soon as you are informed that you are the subject of a HSE investigation.
Our solicitors provide a wide range of services, including assistance with:
- Risk assessments and audits
- Advice on avoiding a prosecution
- Attendance at HSE interviews under caution
- Data and document disclosure issues
- Defending a prosecution at the Magistrates or Crown Court
- Representation at a coroner's inquest
Inspectors who visit your work premises as part of health and safety investigations have the authority to serve you with three different kinds of notices. These are:
- A prohibition notice ordering the duty holder to stop an activity immediately
- An improvement notice specifying remedial action and giving the duty holder a date by which they must complete the action
- A Crown notice - this kind of notice is issued under the same circumstances that would justify a statutory prohibition or improvement notice, but can only be served on Crown organisations (government departments, the Forestry Commission, prison service etc.)
Being served with a prohibition or improvement notice can have an obvious, direct impact on your business. Seeking expert legal advice as soon as possible to help clarify and defend your position is therefore highly recommended.
Why Choose JMW?
It is vital you seek legal advice and assistance as soon as you are informed that you are the subject of a HSE investigation. The lawyers here at JMW can represent you during each stage of the investigation process.
Penalties for breaching health and safety guidelines can be severe, and can include fines and imprisonment. It is therefore important to obtain expert legal advice in order to protect your position. The lawyers at JMW are able to advise firms in any sector and have particular expertise in the haulage and construction industry.
We know how disruptive and intrusive such investigations can be, and we can advise to make sure you make the right decisions. We regularly represent companies and individuals across the country, including in Manchester and London, and we draw upon expertise in other departments to ensure our clients can access the most appropriate specialists in each case.