As the construction industry in Ireland continues to recover, BLM partner Patrick Connolly says firms must make health and safety a priority and consider the precedent set by new sentencing guidelines in England and Wales. Patrick has spoken to the team at Plant & Civil Engineer about this important issue for the sector:
Five fatal injuries and 137 major accidents occurred within the construction industry in Northern Ireland between January 2015 and September 2016 and the Department for the Economy reported 510 new jobs within industry sector in the last quarter of 2016, therefore, according to BLM partner Patrick Connolly, prioritising safety management is crucial for employers.
“The emotional and reputational costs of workplace accidents can be very grave, however, they are only part of the story. The financial consequences of health and safety failures have the potential to fold a business,” said Patrick Connolly.
With new 2016 sentencing guidelines entitled ‘Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food and Safety and Hygiene Offences’ already being introduced in England and Wales, he is urging firms to take heed and ensure their safety systems are fit for purpose and compliant.
“The impact of the new guidelines in England and Wales will mean that many construction businesses will find themselves incurring significant fines and increased threats of custodial sentences for directors and managers.
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