Emergency Response & Investigations
The action taken in the immediate aftermath of an incident often determines whether prosecution will follow. For instance, the company must be able to demonstrate that it took all necessary remedial action to prevent a recurrence. But if such action is ill-considered, it could strengthen the Prosecution’s case, as could any documents the company produces about the incident.
Greenwoods’ emergency call-out team will analyse the crisis and propose the best way forward for both the insured and insurer. Most importantly, we will ensure that nothing the company does during this crucial period unwittingly compromises its defence.
Our Health & Safety team then acts quickly to initiate and complete an investigation into the incident, identifying any procedural and technical failures and often working with our client’s health and safety advisers to agree prompt and effective remedial action.
We also assemble documents relating to the health and safety systems and procedures that were in place at the time of the incident, prepare evidence from the people concerned and help to present the insured’s case in the best possible light.
Various regulatory bodies are likely to demand to interview directors and staff in the aftermath of a serious incident – including the Police, the HSE, the Environment Agency or the Trading Standards authorities. There needs to be a swift assessment of the risk of potential or actual conflict between the company and its staff, which may require separate representation.
Greenwoods will give clear advice to the company as to whether there is any risk of conflict. We also advise what support and guidance the employer can and should give to its staff when they are asked to attend for interview. We will ensure that any interviews are conducted fairly.
We also prepare the witnesses on the questions they are likely to be asked at interview, so that they are not taken by surprise.