This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Directors may face ban over breach of safety rules

14 December 2007

Directors found guilty of serious health and safety offences are also likely to be banned from running a company if new sentencing guidelines come into force, warns law firm DWF.

The warning follows a report by Warwick University on behalf of the Health & Safety Executive, which says that too few directors are being disqualified for flouting health and safety rules. While the Company Directors Disqualification Act, introduced in 1986, allows the courts to disqualify directors who are in breach of their duties, in the period up to 2005 just ten had been banned for health and safety offences.

The report found the prosecutors and judges were failing to use the Act because of a lack of awareness. It recommends that the HSE should issue guidelines as to the circumstances in which it would be appropriate to disqualify a director, and urge prosecutors to apply to the court for a disqualification order as a matter of course in these types of cases.

Steffan Groch, health and safety partner at DWF, says: “Directors should be warned. The HSE will be encouraging prosecutors to use their powers under the Act. It means that, for serious breaches of health and safety rules, they will not only risk a large fine but also could be banned from running a company.

“This latest measure is part of a wider clampdown on organisations who breach health and safety rules. The HSE is taking a much tougher approach in prosecuting offenders and fines are increasing. Meanwhile the introduction of the new offence of corporate manslaughter in April 2008 will put the actions of directors under the spotlight as never before.”

Print this page | E-mail this page


View more articles
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...
Article image

Acquisition of Atalian and OCS announced by global investment business

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) has announced its intention to acquire FM businesses OCS Group and Atalian for an undisclosed sum....
Article image

Making the Leadenhall Building fit for purpose

Firmly established as one of the most notable buildings in the City of London, the Leadenhall Building (informally known as the cheesegrater) provides a st...
Article image

Account Director finalists confirmed for PFM Awards

Three finalists have been confirmed to attend the final day of judging within the PFM Partnership Awards 2022 Account Director of the Year category....
Article image

YLOTY2018 winner comments on his success on the night

This year's PFM Awards Young Leader of the Year winner, Kristian Trend, gives his reaction winning the award after receiving his trophy on 7 November at Th...
Article image

Cleenol launches edencleen range

One of the UK’s longest established manufacturers and suppliers of quality cleaning and hyg...