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Health & Safety at Work

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Dennis, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Dennis

    Dennis Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Following the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter law last year, Health and Safety has tightened with the introduction of new penalties from January 16 2009.

    The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 raises the maximum penalties that can be imposed for breaching health and safety regulations in the lower courts from £5,000 to £20,000 and the range of offences for which an individual can be imprisoned has also been broadened.

    Previously, under the Health and Safety at Work Act, directors or senior managers found guilty of health and safety offences could not be imprisoned. As of 16 January 2009, however, this is a very real possibility.

    In the light of this it would be interesting to see whether a refusal to allow a diabetic member of staff the time and/or facilities to take a meal break and blood test when they need to would be seen by the courts as an action that jeopardises the health and safety of that member of staff. Also whether one would need to have suffered actual harm in order to bring a case under the new regulations, or whether the risk of harm is sufficient for a prosecution.

    Any lawyers out there?? (not barrack room ones!)
     
  2. Graham1441

    Graham1441 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    Very intersting, there is one line manager i would love to see go inside after telling me to "Leave my medical problems at home".
     
  3. gonpanning

    gonpanning · Newbie

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    I work in Health and Safety, and this is an interesting question.

    Health and safety law requires employers to conduct a risk assessment of work activities - looking at the work, control measures in place to protect employees, making any suitable adjustments, and reviewing as necessary. Employers also have to take account of employees' capabilities, which could include health issues. Employees must inform their employers of any health problems that could affect their work. Diabetics are covered under the Disability Discrimination Act, as they have a long term condition that affects their daily life, which means that employers have to make reasonable adjustments to work.

    Any prosecution would have to fulfil the Public Interest Test - for instance it would not be in the public interest to prosecute someone for a technical breach of the law, such as not letting a diabetic take a break where there is no clear evidence that health and safety risks arose. All prosecutions must be based on sound evidence, and it could be a factor in investigating serious incidents. There are also other sanctions available to HSE/Environmental Health - issuing Notices prohibiting an activity or requiring an improvement where inspectors have reason to believe that there is a problem.

    Check out the Health and Safety Executive website http://www.hse.gov.uk as there is a mine of information on enforcement policies, criteria for investigating accidents, the complaints procedure etc.

    Also, just to make the distinction - health and safety law is criminal law, and cases must be proved beyond reasonable doubt - these are taken by enforcement agencies - HSE/Environmental Health, and penalties imposed by the court go into the public coffers. If individuals want financial recompense for harm caused, they can seek damages in the civil courts, where the proof is on the balance of probabilities.

    I hope this helps.
     
  4. Graham1441

    Graham1441 · Well-Known Member

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    The company I work for cant even spell risk assessment let alone do one.
    I would be very suprised if any had been done at all.
    Health and safty is just another joke like most laws.
    I can just see someone making a complaint and going right out the door.
    His normal answer is ok bring it on.
    Graham 1441 :evil: :evil: :arrow:
     
  5. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Graham.

    Having seen the HSE at work, and on occasions worked with them. They can and do take action against even the worst of employers.
    Speak to them in confidence. You do not have to make an official complaint and put your job on the line. They will want to know who you are but that is NEVER divulged.
    They can and will investigate and take actions as appropriate. Your company seems like a prime candidate for some legwork for someone at the HSE.
    Their local offices are in the phone books. Take the plunge ! Rock your bosses boat !

    Ken.
     
  6. Graham1441

    Graham1441 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh I would love to do that, give him a right slap in his face.
    When I became Diabetic he just keeped having a go at me about delivery times, it can get a bit hard when you need the loo every 20 mins.
    Adjust my core working hours, oh yea I was made spare driver so every day I was doing something diferant, never knowing where or how long it would take Making meal planning impossible and as your supposed to take your Metformin with meals screwed that up to. I have been spare for over 16 months now.
    He works on the idear do nothing and it goes away.
    Graham. :evil:
     
  7. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    OK Graham. You are the Horse, here's the water ......
     
  8. Graham1441

    Graham1441 · Well-Known Member

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    Even had my work bag stolen last week which contained as well as other things my tablets, and two paires of glasses one for night driving and good anti glare sunglasses.
    Have I been given time to get to docs or optition, yea sat when I dont work, and the docs is closed.
    Graham 1441
     
  9. debs51

    debs51 · Newbie

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    I work in the betting industry.Long and irregular hours.My firm does do risk assessments but I dont know if that includes my diabetes health.I doubt it as I've never been asked any questions.I am off sick right now because my sugar is totally out of control.Breaks are a joke,cant plan meals {some days I have to have 2 meals at work.} Its affecting my mental health. Interestingly enough my readings have been normal in the 5 days I've been at home controlling it and eating properly. You might say "why dont you change your job?" but at 51 its not so easy.I have been in this line of work for 25 years. I would love to know if anyone has any suggestions for me or has a similar situation.
     
  10. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Hi Debs.
    YOU should speak to your employers and ask them to make some adjustments so that you can get your meals at the correct times etc. They have probably never given it a thought, therefore you need to ask them.

    It is a right under the Disability Discrimination Act that they should make some 'reasonable adjustments' to your work place and /or your conditions of working.

    Speak to them first.
     
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