Reasons not to cut corners...

We only use Safety Netting that complies to the EN1263-1 standard because we don’t believe in cutting corners where the repercussions can be catastrophic. As well as the human impact caused by falls from height on individuals and their families, the organisational implications are also huge.

In the UK, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figureshighlight the number of workers killed by an accident at work was 142 in 2014/15, with Services and Construction the top two sectors in terms of industry frequency.

HSE statistics from 2014 also state, “Falls from height and slips, trips or falls on the same level are associated with more fatal and major/specified injuries to workers than any other injury kind.”

Whilst it’s fair to say that the total number of deaths per annum is decreasing on average, at least when looking over the last 20 years, this is taking place against a backdrop of changing legislation where fines and penalties are increasingly severe for businesses, should the worst occur.

All employees are due a legal duty of care by their employer, failure to conduct proper risk assessments and mitigate risk can result in companies falling foul of regulatory legislation such as The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Fines for breaches can run into tens of thousands of pounds at least, which when you add to other associated costs such as management time dealing with incidents, replacement or temporary staffing and private legal disputes, all of which can impact significantly on a organisation’s level of profit.

In addition to being under the regulatory microscope, organisations suffering the death of an employee can also fall foul of criminal legislation such as The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, resulting in huge fines recommended to start at £500,000, massive reputational damage and enforced publicity statements, and individual charges of gross negligence manslaughter against employees, to run concurrently where deemed in the interest of The Crown.

The Sentencing Council is set to announce a new, definitive sentencing guideline incorporating both Health and Safety, and Corporate Manslaughter offences on the 3rd November 2015, to come into force in all courts in England and Wales in Feb 2016. The new guidelines are widely expected to result in significant increases in fines levied across both areas, where breaches have been proved.

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