In this edition, we look at the increasing use of statistics in the health and safety sentencing process, examine the impact of underfunding on our health and safety enforcement agencies and look at the potential for a statutory duty of candour.
We also round up the news from across our practice area, taking in developments in environmental, food, fire safety, inquest and trading standards law. We’d love to hear your feedback on our first issue so please do get in touch with your thoughts!
This is also a great opportunity to remind you of our inaugural seminar, which is taking place on 10 October 2019 at Innside, Manchester. Covering property safety risk, we have an exciting programme that will equip you with practical ideas and tools to strengthen and shape your property risk management strategy. Designed for corporate and commercial organisations, the seminar covers everything from risk identification, management and allocation to future predictions for the regulatory landscape post Grenfell. To secure your place, email Susan Rigg
HEALTH & SAFETY: VIEWPOINT
Statistically are we heading in the right direction?
Statistical evidence is playing an increasing role in determining the likelihood of harm as required by the Definitive Guideline on sentencing health and safety cases. h
A cry for help?
Local authority enforcement is in decline. The vastly reduced capacity of environmental health departments means they cannot target and action breaches as before. And with Whitehall endlessly engaged in Brexit planning, the most forceful cry for help has come from fellow regulator the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which published a Statement of Commitment in April.
Duty of candour: a level playing field?
When Andy Burnham, then MP for Leigh, proposed a statutory duty of candour back in 2017, he no doubt hoped progress might now have been made. His draft Bill, prompted by his involvement with the Hillsborough families, required public authorities to admit responsibility following adverse incidents, even before court proceedings began.
HEALTH AND SAFETY: NEWS
Health, safety and environmental inspections in decline
Research by the Unchecked campaign group has revealed a staggering drop in enforcement since 2009/10.
Annual Coroner Statistics Published
The Ministry of Justice has published the Annual Coroner Statistics for 2018 in conjunction with the Office for National Statistics.
FOOD SAFETY: NEWS
New recommendations for the Food Standards Agency
The National Audit Office has published a report, “Ensuring Food Safety and Standards”.
Resources and waste strategy
DEFRA has confirmed that final proposals are being developed for the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy. The Strategy forms part of the 25 Year Environment Plan, which commits to leave the environment in a better condition for the next generation.
FIRE SAFETY: NEWS
As we passed the second anniversary of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, we could slowly see the seeds of change being sown.
Decrease in CQC enforcement
The Care Quality Commission (‘CQC’) has published its Annual Report for 2018/19. The Report covers the CQC’s operation and performance as a whole, including its use of enforcement powers.
TRADING STANDARDS: NEWS
Government to consult on new powers for the CMA
The Government is to consult on giving the Competition and Markets Authority new powers to directly fine businesses that overcharge or mislead their customers.