The way a business responds to a health and safety accident and any resulting regulatory investigation is crucial both for its reputation and the eventual legal outcome, explains lawyer Rhian Greaves.

The impact of a serious workplace accident is multi-faceted and, certainly initially, none of the resulting effects are good. They are not good for those involved, not good for their loved ones and not good for their colleagues, their managers and those running the organisation. And it is this human impact — and the quest to avoid it — which keeps health and safety professionals motivated. Hence, the call that “no one should be injured or made ill at work”.

Beyond both the immediate and then longer-lasting human consequences, a huge array of organisational, commercial and reputational effects will quickly become evident. There will be a lot to think about. Have you identified and removed the risk? Have you secured the (crime) scene? What remedial works are needed? Can you still operate? Can you meet customer demands? Are the media aware? Is the incident on social media? The list is almost endless.

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