Enforcement Notices & Prosecutions
The HSE and the Environmental Health Office of the Local Authority have the power to serve Improvement and Prohibition Notices on businesses. These Notices can be extremely damaging, since they can disrupt or stop production, or make the business uncompetitive. Also, accepting such a Notice without challenge can be taken as an admission of guilt, thereby allowing the regulatory body to launch a prosecution.
It is therefore vital that the right action is taken to respond appropriately. There is often the temptation to accept such a Notice in the hope that this is regarded as evidence of cooperation. At Greenwoods we have a dedicated team able to advise on the right action to protect the assets and reputation of the business.
Greenwoods’ Health & Safety team will make every effort to prevent a prosecution. The key to this is early investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the incident, thorough documentation, effective remedial action and expert advice on the factors that the prosecuting authorities will consider when they make their decision.
Greenwoods knows its business. We ensure that the Prosecution makes full and proper advance disclosure, that they do not over step the line between fair and oppressive and that there are no breaches of the prosecutors code of conduct.
Nevertheless, if prosecution follows, we analyse the case for the defence most thoroughly. If a plea of guilty is appropriate, we negotiate a Basis of Plea which fairly represents the facts, or make the necessary application for a pre-determination of the facts.
Early advice as to plea is the key to saving time and legal costs, to effective negotiation of a Plea and to receiving a full discount for an early plea of guilty. Any decision to defend can be taken with full awareness of the facts and of the chances of success.