Occupational Health & Safety
Our Occupational Health and Safety group handles a wide range of workplace health and safety issues. We devise and implement health and safety strategies, advise businesses on their legal obligations, conduct audits and risk assessments and protect businesses through comprehensive policies, procedures and training.
The plethora of health and safety legislation can be tricky for businesses to navigate. Given the potential for criminal liability arising when businesses fail to fulfil their obligations it is critical that health and safety is at the top of the boardroom agenda. The renewed spotlight and broader scope of health and safety responsibilities arising from the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered yet further challenges for employers.
We can help your business devise and implement a practical and commercial global health and safety strategy through our own expertise and through our membership of Ius Laboris, the leading global alliance of human resource law firms.
The type of things we can help clients with include:
- managing unexpected homeworking due to Covid-19
- advising on planning for a return to normal working after the Covid-19 lockdown ends
- crisis management
- compliance audits, reviewing and drafting of health and safety documentation
- risk assessments and advising on accident prevention methods
- accident investigation
- assisting clients with HSE enquiries, including how to deal with improvement and prohibition notices
- advising clients when prosecuting authorities, such as the police or HSE, are investigating an accident
- advising on new developments/issues in the health and safety arena and training clients on their health and safety obligations
- defending prosecutions for alleged health and safety breaches, including representing employers when being interviewed under caution
- representing clients at inquests
How to mitigate the risk of employment claims on return to work during Covid-19 – a table22 July 2020
Our table for employers sets out the practical steps to take in order to reduce the scope for claims from employees arising out of the return to work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Covid-19: Establishing a return to work plan – health and safety considerations08 July 2020
This Inbrief summarises the legal landscape, government guidance and other various considerations that employers will need to take into account.
RE:Occupy - Managing the reoccupation of your premises10 June 2020
With corporate occupiers turning their thoughts to re-occupying their premises, as well as dealing with the practicalities of how to implement social distancing measures, they will be concerned to ensure that they are not exposing themselves to potential contractual, negligence and health and safety claims from employees, visitors, contractors or landlords. Whilst the government is providing advice to businesses on how they should manage the safety of staff, questions are being asked by businesses particularly in multi-let office buildings about who is responsible for ensuring common areas (such as the reception areas, toilets and lifts) are safe and who must pay for measures which must be implemented to make them safe. So, who is liable for what?
What does the return to retail look like?03 June 2020
Retail businesses are starting to reopen as part of the government’s plans to ease the country out of lockdown. How should retailers go about preparing to make a return to our high streets and shopping centres?
Does an employer’s duty of care extend to commuting to work?21 May 2020
As more people return to workplaces, how far does an employer’s duty of care cover risks to employees during their commute to work? And how should employers deal with staff refusing to travel to work for fear of contracting Covid-19?
Top tips for returning to the workplace30 April 2020
As the government looks to ease current restrictions, it will be important for businesses to start to think carefully about how to safely manage the process of returning to the workplace. Our top tips cover some of the key aspects to consider.
Business as (un)usual - how to manage a return to business after Covid-1924 April 2020
The UK’s lockdown has been extended until at least 7 May 2020 and there may then be a further extension. When it is eventually lifted, measures for a gradual and phased return to the workplace are likely to be imposed, with social-distancing measures remaining in place. You need to start thinking now about how to manage this process.
Enforced homeworking during the coronavirus crisis – employers’ health and safety obligations02 April 2020
On 23 March 2020, the government announced that everyone was required to stay at home for at least three weeks, unless they have work which “absolutely” cannot be done at home. This article explains an employer’s health and safety responsibilities towards this significant group of temporary homeworkers during the enforced period of homeworking.