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Huge Rise in Prosecutions Over Health & Safety for Managers

January 2012

During the last five years the number of directors and senior managers prosecuted under section 37 of the HSWA (Health & Safety at Work Act) 1974 has risen by over 400% reported the SHP in a recent online article.

Figures showed that 43 directors and/or senior managers and company secretaries were prosecuted under s37 of the HSWA in 2010/11*, the highest since 1999/2000. It also showed that 35 individuals were convicted under section 37 in 2010/ 2011 compared with only five in 2005/2006.

The unofficial* figures were released by the HSE in response to a freedom of information request from Solicitor Lee Hughes who looked back at director prosecutions over the past twelve years.

Following prosecution in 2010/2011 seven of the senior managers and directors faced charges as a result of a fatal accident and three directors were disqualified for between four and five years under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

The findings highlighted the increasing need for senior managers and directors to take their responsibilities regarding health & safety seriously. IOSH Safety for Executives & Directors covers the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 and the cost of accidents at work.
* The HSE cautions that this data has not been validated and may not be completely accurate.

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