Health & Safety
Even the most efficiently run business can find itself in a health and safety, environmental or other regulatory crisis.
The Greenwoods Health & Safety team is an acknowledged leader in the defence of manslaughter, health and safety and other regulatory prosecutions. We handle a wide range of work, from minor land pollution cases to major, high profile disasters, such as the Hatfield rail crash. More recently we have been instructed in the Market Harborough rail crash and the Atherstone Warehouse fire in which four firemen died. Other examples include the defence of a nursery prosecuted following the death of a child from choking. We are regularly instructed following fatal accidents to advise on and prepare the defence.
The immediate aftermath of any major incident is critical. We are regularly instructed on the day of the incident and have the skills, experience and judgment to provide swift and decisive legal advice to those involved and guide them through the inevitable turmoil. We seek to protect the interests and assets of the company and its personnel, subject to any conflict of interest, and in short, act of behalf of our client to manage and coordinate the response to any investigation.
Conflicts of Interest
A fundamental concern following a serious accident is whether there is or is likely to be a conflict of interest between the company and its staff. In the immediate aftermath of any major incident, when the police or other regulatory inspector turns up at the company premises, the last thing the management should have to worry about is finding legal representation. With Greenwoods, business owners and their insurers can rest assured that they and their staff will have instant access to specialist H&S lawyers and that time will not be wasted looking elsewhere. We also receive instructions from other law firms, as a result of conflict of interest.
At Greenwoods we also see it as part of our service to monitor developments in the law and identify opportunities to help influence and shape future legislation. We recently assisted Lord Young in his review of health and safety legislation.
Chambers 2013 on Stephen Byass – “if I were the policy holder I would be very pleased to see him coming in through the door; he has a lot of experience and he knows the procedures and practices of the HSE.”