Tag Archives: Health and Safety

Asbestos-Containing Materials: A Non-Scope Consideration Worth Investigating During Environmental Due Diligence

A common question that arises when performing environmental due diligence on commercial real estate is the degree to which the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) should be investigated.  In the case of ACMs, “what you don’t know can hurt you” and, therefore, the old axiom of “less is more” does not apply.  This is especially true regarding asbestos not only … Continue Reading

UK Sentencing Council: Further Consultation On New Guidelines for Guilty Plea Credit

In the wake of the UK’s more prescriptive approach towards sentencing adopted in the recent Definitive Sentencing Guidelines which came into force on 1 February 2016, the UK Sentencing Council has now turned its focus to the guidelines regarding the credit available for the entering of a guilty plea in criminal cases. The Sentencing Council … Continue Reading

New health and safety sentencing guidelines published today – Huge increase in fines in England and Wales expected to follow

The Sentencing Council published draft sentencing guidelines for health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences on 13 November 2014. Following the closure of its consultation period on 18 February 2015, the Sentencing Council has today, 3 November 2015, published the new definitive guidelines along with supporting documents, including the response to … Continue Reading

Risky Business: Health and Safety in the UK Hotel Industry

There have been a significant number of cases reported in the press recently in relation to hotels that are being prosecuted for health and safety breaches. The increased visibility of such cases highlights a need for stronger emphasis on compliance within the industry. The reality of health and safety risks faced by the hotel industry … Continue Reading

UK Employers Beware: Health & Safety and Unfair Dismissal

In Newbound –v- Thames Water the Court of Appeal has recently upheld the ruling of the Employment Tribunal that Mr Newbound had been unfairly dismissed for gross misconduct despite his breaching company health and safety rules. The case highlights the difficulties faced by employers trying to enforce compliance with new health and safety procedures, but … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Holds that Agencies Are Not Required to Comply With Notice and Comment Requirements When Revising Interpretative Rules

This month, in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, the US Supreme Court overturned the D.C. Circuit’s Paralyzed Veteran doctrine, rejecting nearly 20 years of precedent requiring federal agencies to abide by notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures when they substantially alter an “interpretive” rule. However, the decision also hints that even broader changes may be afoot.  Writing in … Continue Reading

UK Magistrates’ Courts granted the power to impose unlimited fines

The long awaited Section 85 of The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (the “Act”), which removes the fine limits that Magistrates’ Courts can impose for serious offences, came into force on 12 March 2015, meaning that for certain serious offences committed on or after 12 March 2015, the Magistrates Court can … Continue Reading

MSHA Launches Aggressive Fatality Prevention Initiative in US Metal /Non-Metal Mines

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is rolling out an aggressive fatality prevention initiative in response to a spike in fatalities at metal and non-metal (MNM) mines over the last sixteen months.  Since October 2013, 37 MNM miners have lost their lives, more than double the number of MNM fatalities in the previous three … Continue Reading

Environmental Regulation and Nanotechnology in the UK and EU: Challenges, Risks and Rewards

What is Nanotechnology? Nanotechnology is a generic term used to describe the design, engineering, production and use of substances and materials at the nanoscale (1 nanometre representing 1 billionth of a metre).  To illustrate, one sheet of standard paper is approximately 100,000 nanometres thick and one nanometre is roughly how long a human fingernail will … Continue Reading

Appeals against health and safety enforcement notices – The role of the UK Employment Tribunal

Regulators in the UK often serve enforcement notices on companies as a means of securing compliance with health and safety legislation. Inspectors can serve either an improvement notice (which require a breach to be remedied within a specified period) or a prohibition notice (which direct that an activity must be suspended until matters giving rise … Continue Reading

Higher fines expected in the UK for Health and Safety, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences thanks to new sentencing guidelines

Although sentencing guidelines currently exist in relation to corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences resulting in a death, there are no current guidelines to the UK courts in relation to sentencing non-fatal health and safety offences or food safety offences. The guidelines, produced by the Sentencing Council (SC), are intended to fill that gap … Continue Reading

OSHA Announces New US Workplace Fatality and Injury Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements

Under new reporting requirements announced on September 11, 2014 by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers will be required to notify OSHA of any work-related fatalities within eight hours, and any work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. This is a move away from OSHA’s prior, less stringent … Continue Reading

Trade Groups Seek Extension to OSHA Globally Harmonized System Implementation Deadline For US Chemical Hazard Communications

On March 26, 2012, the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued its final rule adopting the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) as OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).  The rule, codified at 29 C.F.R. 1910.1200, requires chemical “manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers” to comply with the new GHS … Continue Reading

Chief Coroner publishes first annual report – Consistency and Efficiency Key to Improving Coroner System in England and Wales

Chief Coroner HH Judge Peter Thornton QC, the first holder of this position, submitted his first annual report (the “Report”) to the Lord Chancellor on June 30 of this year as required by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (“the 2009 Act”). Coroners in England and Wales are tasked with investigating deaths of a violent … Continue Reading

UK Sentencing Council Definitive Guidelines for Environmental Offences – The Shape of Things to Come?

The recent decision in R v Southern Water Services Limited (2014) has seen the Court of Appeal take a very firm stance against a utilities provider, upholding a fine of £200,000 following a conviction under regulation 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (the ‘2010 Regulations’) for discharging untreated sewage into the … Continue Reading
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