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Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Health and Safety Law and Mental Health and Wellbeing – Continuing the Conversation

Mental health issues have been at the forefront of news and social media headlines in recent months, with many high profile celebrities involved in raising awareness and getting people talking about a topic which is still surrounded by stigma.

One in four of us will be affected by a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, at some point in our lives. That may be down to work related stress, or it may be as a result of something going on at home or elsewhere in our personal lives.

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Burness admin

Calling All Health And Safety Professionals... Are You GDPR Ready?

With only a month to go until GDPR is here, those responsible for Health and Safety should consider whether they need to do any further work to demonstrate compliance with the new era of data protection law.

It is inevitable that GDPR will affect organisations of all types and sizes as most businesses will already gather or process personal data in some form or another.

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Burness admin

HSE v Chevron – Approach to Enforcement Notice Appeals Finally Clarified

An important decision on how health and safety enforcement notice appeals should be treated by the courts has been handed down by the UK Supreme Court this morning.

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Burness admin

IT Security – a Health and Safety Issue: October update

Following on from our last blog the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) has now approved a new cyber strategy in line with its 2017/18 business plan.

At this time the strategy focuses on cyber attacks on operating systems known as Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS) in major hazard industries. The new threat posed by intentional cyber security attacks lends additional risk in this already high risk arena.

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Burness admin

IT Security - a Health and Safety Issue

The global malware attack which petrified the NHS has thrown into sharp relief that IT security is a health and safety issue.

Ransomware such as that used in the attack on the NHS and others works by blocking access to data until or unless a ransom in paid. And as we have seen, even if paid there can be no guarantee that access will be restored.

It can easily be imagined that if an organisation has no access to vital health and safety documentation such as risk assessments, lone worker systems and the like, that can only heighten operational health and safety risk.

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Burness admin

Manager Acquitted Following Landmark Safety Trial

Hand in hand with increasing levels of fines in the regulatory enforcement landscape comes an increased appetite for the prosecution of individuals along with the corporate body.
 
Directors, Company Secretaries and those in senior positions within companies can attract prosecution under Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 where they have consented or connived in the corporate offence or have neglected to prevent it happening. But it is important to bear in mind that those lower down the workforce chain have responsibilities too.

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Burness admin

Sentencing Update: Scottish Power v HMA

Over the course of the last few months there has been a significant increase in the level of criminal fines imposed by courts in both Scotland and England for breaches of health and safety legislation.  For larger organisations fines which are measured in millions are the new norm.  The sudden and dramatic increase is in part due to new sentencing guidelines which came into force in England and Wales in February this year (the “2016 Guidelines").

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Burness admin

A New International Standard For Anti Bribery Controls

Updated: ISO 37001 was published on 14th October.

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Burness admin

Brexit: Vote To Leave

Brexit

While there will be both market and political turbulence which will follow on from the EU Referendum result being to leave the EU, in our view it is important to bear the following points in mind:

  • A ‘Leave’ vote does not tell us anything about the arrangements with the EU that we will end up with. It doesn’t even tell us what the UK would seek in that respect. 
    • While examples of what others have achieved (in Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Canada) have been much quoted in the arguments made in the run up to the Referendum, they are no more than that.

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Burness admin

Brexit: How Much Impact Would It Really Have On The UK’s Regulatory Sphere?

Fran Hutchison

To Brexit or not to Brexit? That is the question. The impact of Brexit has now been widely discussed and various “helpful” studies and reports have been published by government bodies, think tanks and other interested parties, each setting out statistical analysis in support of either the leave or remain campaigns. With so much being said about Brexit, and so much of it contradictory, it would be easy to decide that you are sick of hearing about “it” and cast your vote on 23 June without really considering the issues.

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LChalmers