Release: Emargoed Wednesday 28 May 00.01 am
15 Directors Convicted of Health and Safety Offences
Fifteen people who are either company directors
or very senior managers have been convicted of health
and safety offences between April 1999 and January
2003, according to research conducted by the CCA.
These convictions, following offences committed between
October 1996 and October 2001, resulted in the directors/senior
managers receiving an average fine of £2,656.
None were sent to prison.
It appears that most of the directors convicted are
involved in small companies.
Four of these convictions resulted from investigations
into a fatality; seven resulted from injuries and
the other five resulted from circumstances where the
safety of workers was endangered.
All the prosecutions were taken by either the Health
and Safety Executive (HSE) or Local Authorities. It
is not known how many prosecutions against directors
resulted in an acquittal.
donwload details of these prosecutions, Click
the same period - HSE's prosecution database indicates
that companies were convicted of health and safety
offences on over 2600 occasions. The CCA research
therefore indicates that only a small percentage of
prosecutions around 0.5% - result in the prosecution
and conviction of a director.
In order for a company director to be prosecuted for
a health and safety offence it is necessary to prove
that the director was aware that the company was committing
an offence and did nothing to stop it (connivance)
or that the offence by the company was the result
of any neglect on the part of the director.
The provision to prosecute directors is set out in
section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The HSE has been subjected to criticism in recent
years over its failure to prosecute directors.
However in January 2002, it published a new Enforcement
Policy Statement which states that the HSE and LA
inspectors should identify and prosecute
individuals if they consider that a prosecution is
warranted and that, when they conduct an investigation,
in particular they should consider the management
chain and the role played by individual directors
It is not known yet whether this change has resulted
in the prosecution of more directors - since prosecutions
may be currently before the courts
research was based on data contained on HSE's prosecution
addition to health and safety offence convictions,
only 8 directors have ever been convicted of manslaughter
offences. To see the list, Click
CCA contact details: 020 7 490 4494
contact the Health and Safety Executive :
0207 717 6700