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Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Automated Vehicles – Navigating the Road to Regulatory Reform

The joint consultation by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission on automated vehicles seeks views by 8th February 2019 on whether or not the UK’s current regulatory framework can cope with this new and ever-evolving technology, or whether reform is needed. Road traffic safety and regulation relies for the most part on the criminal law, which concentrates on the behaviour of the human driver. However, some offences may not be totally suitable for crimes involving driverless vehicles, and in some cases completely new offences will be needed.

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Burness admin

Automated Vehicles – Is this the end of the road for the “driver”?

In a previous blog, we discussed the recently published joint consultation by the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission on automated vehicles (which is seeking responses by 8 February 2019), and how it foresaw the new technology impacting on the existing rules of civil liability.  One of the most interesting aspects of the consultatio

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Burness admin

Criminal charges for nutritional product manufacturer highlights the need for careful supply chain management

The decision to bring criminal charges against ITH Pharma Ltd (“ITH”), the manufacturer of an intravenous nutritional product, is a reminder that manufacturers have duties to the end users of their products and can face criminal as well as civil liability for failures. It also underlines the need for manufacturers to monitor their suppliers to ensure the quality and compliance of component parts.

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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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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