Health and safety crisis management—a UK practical guide
Produced in partnership with Lindsay MacNeill of BTO Solicitors LLP
Health and safety crisis management—a UK practical guide

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Lindsay MacNeill of BTO Solicitors LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Health and safety crisis management—a UK practical guide
  • Which regulators will be involved?
  • Making the site safe
  • Reporting obligations
  • Responsibilities of duty holders

In the immediate aftermath of an incident, it is of paramount consideration to have an incident management team appointed and deployed. See Practice Notes Health and Safety Executive prosecutions policy; Dealing with dawn raids by the Health and Safety Executive, Health and safety investigations in Scotland and Corporate manslaughter—enforcement and prosecution.

Which regulators will be involved?

England and Wales

The way authorities in England and Wales coordinate investigation and prosecution work following a work-related death is governed by the document Work Related Deaths: A Protocol for Liaison. The protocol is signed by the Association of Chief Police Officers, British Transport Police, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Local Government Association, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Only the police can investigate serious criminal offences, other than health and safety offences, such as manslaughter, and only the CPS can decide whether such a case will proceed.

The police also have an interest in establishing the circumstances surrounding a work-related death to assist the coroner’s inquest. Any sudden unexplained death will always necessitate a coroner’s inquest. See Practice Note: The purpose and scope of coroners’ inquests: introductory guide for practitioners.

In England and Wales, health and safety offences are usually prosecuted by the HSE or the local authority. While the CPS may also prosecute health and safety offences, it will