Archive for July, 2017

Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2017/90

These Regulations came into force on 10 July 2017 and apply to Northern Ireland only.
They transpose Directive 2014/34/EU, on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The purpose of these Regulations is to:

address the number…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Regulation (EU) 794/2017 (OJ:L120/7/2017) approving silicon dioxide Kieselguhr as an existing active substance for use in biocidal products of product-type 18

This Regulation approves silicon dioxide Kieselguhr as an active substance for use in biocidal products for product-type 18 (Insecticides, acaricides and products to control other arthropods), subject to the specifications and conditions set out in the Annex to this Regulation.
It is made in accordance with the opinion of the Standing…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Regulation (EU) 794/2017 (OJ:L120/7/2017) approving silicon dioxide Kieselguhr as an existing active substance for use in biocidal products of product-type 18

This Regulation approves silicon dioxide Kieselguhr as an active substance for use in biocidal products for product-type 18 (Insecticides, acaricides and products to control other arthropods), subject to the specifications and conditions set out in the Annex to this Regulation.
It is made in accordance with the opinion of the Standing…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Low workplace death rate continues new HSE annual report states

The newly published Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) report presents the statistics on fatal injuries in the workplaces in the UK from April 2016 to March 2017. The statistics reveal, that in the past 12 months to the end of March, 137 people were killed while at work.

The figure corresponds to the five-year-low death rate since 2012, with an average of 142 fatalities each year. Over the last 20 years, the number of accidents at work, which resulted in a fatality, have halved and represent the significant improvement of the management of hazards, risk assessment and control.

Last year, 20 construction workers sustained fatal injuries, which is a record-low, despite of the largest share of workplace deaths. On the other side, the waste and recycling industry deaths have almost doubled, compared to a previous five-year-low of eight. However, this is largely related to the incident at the Hawkeswood Metal Recycling plant in Birmingham in July 2016, where five employees were killed after a wall collapse, bringing the total number of deaths to 14.

Agriculture was another sector that showed a high rate of fatal injuries with 27 workers losing their lives last year.

The report distinguishes the main kinds of fatal accidents for workers, which are:

  • struck by a moving vehicle – 31 fatalities;
  • falls from height – 25 fatalities;
  • struck by a moving object – 20 fatalities;
  • trapped by something collapsing/overturning – 10 fatalities;
  • contact with moving machinery – 8 fatalities;
  • contact with electricity – 8 fatalities.

Older workers (aged 60 plus) accounted for 34 fatal injuries, which is a quarter of the overall statistic. This is a very high number, keeping in mind, that this demographic group makes up only 10% of the whole workforce.

A total of 92 members of the public were killed in 2016/2017 as a result of a work-related accident. Of these deaths, almost half (43) occurred on railways and a further 14 occurred in the health and social sector. Comparison of numbers has been complicated over the recent years, due to removal of reporting suicides on railways to members of the public in October 2013.

Chair of the HSE, Martin Temple, said: “Every fatality is a tragic event that should not happen. While we are encouraged by this improvement on the previous year, we continue unwaveringly on our mission to prevent injury, death and ill health by protecting people and reducing risks.”

For more information, see:

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Manslaughter Guideline Consultation

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Consultation launched into new guidelines for manslaughter convictions

The Sentencing Council in England and Wales have launched a consultation into proposals for how those who are convicted of manslaughter should be sentenced.

The proposed sentencing guidelines cover the offences of:

  • unlawful act manslaughter;
  • manslaughter by reason of loss of control;
  • manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility; and
  • gross negligence manslaughter.

Gross negligence manslaughter is an offence which managers and company director's may be charged with if their negligence is found to have caused the death of an employee.

The proposed guidelines set out a step-by-step decision making process for the court to use when sentencing manslaughter.  Before sentencing is passed the court will have had to correctly determine the type of manslaughter offence in each case, as the proposed steps for each type of manslaughter may result in varying outcomes. 

Culpability factors

In terms of proposed sentencing guidelines for gross negligence manslaughter, firstly the court must determine which of the four levels of culpability apply to the offender. The culpability factors are:

  • A, very high – this may be indicated by the extreme character of factors which fall under high culpability or a combination of high culpability factors;
  • B, high – which considers the following factors:
    • the offender persisted in the negligent conduct in the face of the obvious suffering of the deceased,
    • negligent conduct was in the context of other serious criminality,
    • negligent conduct was motivated by financial gain, or avoidance of cost,
    • negligent conduct persisted over a long period of time,
    • the offender was in a dominant role if acting with others,
    • the offender was clearly aware of the risk of death arising from the offender's negligent conduct,
    • concealment, destruction, defilement or dismemberment of the body;
  • C, medium – this covers cases which fall between the categories of high and low because factors are present in high and lower which balance each other out and / or the offender's culpability falls between the factors as described in higher and lower;
  • D, lower – which considers the following factors:
    • the offender did not appreciate the risk of death arising from the negligent conduct,
    • negligent conduct was a lapse in the offender's otherwise satisfactory standard of care,
    • offender was in a lesser or subordinate role if acting with others,
    • offender's responsibility was substantially reduced by mental disorder, learning disability or lack of maturity.

The consideration given to harm is the same in all cases of manslaughter as inevitably a charge of manslaughter is only brought about after a loss of life has occurred. 

The second stage is for the court to determine the starting point and category range for a single offence of manslaughter. At this stage the guidelines state that the court should consider the suffering and vulnerability of the victim.

Sentencing in the second stage covers a variety of sentencing ranging from a minimum of one years' custody to a maximum of 18 years.

Culpability:

A

B

C

D

Starting point:

12 years’ custody

8 years’ custody

4 years’ custody

2 years’ custody

Category range:

10-18 years’ custody

6-12 years’ custody

3-7 years’ custody

1-4 years’ custody


Aggravating factors

Once a starting point has been established, the court must consider any additional factors which may aggravate or mitigate the offence, and adjust the sentence arrived at so far.  

Statutory aggravating factors include:

  • previous convictions;
  • an offence being committed whilst offender is on bail;
  • offence found to be motivated by any of the victims characteristics, e.g. religion, race, disability, sexual orientation, transgender identity.

Other aggravating factors would include:

  • a history of significant violence or abuse towards the victim by the offender;
  • involvement of others through coercion, intimidation or exploitation;
  • significant mental or physical suffering caused to the deceased;
  • commission of an offence whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • offence involved use of a weapon;
  • others were put at risk of harm by the offending;
  • death occurred in the context of dishonesty or the pursuit of financial gain;
  • actions after the event, for example attempts to cover up or conceal evidence;
  • blame is wrongly placed in others.

Factors which would reduce the seriousness or reflect personal mitigation include:

  • no previous convictions or relevant convictions;
  • remorse;
  • duty of care was a temporary one created by the particular circumstances;
  • good character or exemplary conduct;
  • serious medical conditions requiring urgent, intensive or long-term treatment;
  • age and / or lack of maturity;
  • sole or primary carer for dependent relatives.

Relevance to health and safety

The proposed guidelines are based on an analysis of current sentencing practice and it is thought that in most cases, there are unlikely to be changes to sentence levels. However where a death was caused by an employer’s long-standing and serious disregard for the safety of employees which was motivated by something such as cost-cutting, it is believed that sentences could increase in such gross negligence cases.

Sentencing for gross negligence manslaughter has always previously been lower than the overall sentence levels for other types of manslaughter offences, with a median sentence of four years in comparison to eight to ten years for unlawful act manslaughter and manslaughter by reason of loss of control.

The Sentencing Council have said: “The introduction of guidelines will be particularly useful in promoting consistency in sentencing and transparency in terms of how sentencing decisions are reached.”

Mr Justice Holroyde, Sentencing Council member commented: ''Manslaughter always involves the loss of a human life and no sentence can make up for that loss. In developing these guidelines, we have been keenly aware of the impact caused by these offences and so the guidelines aim to ensure sentencing that properly reflects both the culpability of the offender and the seriousness of the harm which has been caused.''

The Consultation will run until 10 October 2017.

For more information, see the:

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Manslaughter Guideline Consultation

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Prescribed Persons (Reports on Disclosures of Information) Regulations SI 2017/507

These Regulations came into force on 1 April 2017 and apply to England, Scotland and Wales.
They require the relevant prescribed persons to report in writing on disclosures from workers and set out the reporting period to be 12 months.
They do not require reporting on any disclosures which the relevant prescribed person reasonably believes…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Prescribed Persons (Reports on Disclosures of Information) Regulations SI 2017/507

These Regulations came into force on 1 April 2017 and apply to England, Scotland and Wales.
They require the relevant prescribed persons to report in writing on disclosures from workers and set out the reporting period to be 12 months.
They do not require reporting on any disclosures which the relevant prescribed person reasonably believes…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

Comments Off on Prescribed Persons (Reports on Disclosures of Information) Regulations SI 2017/507 more...

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