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Prosecution of individuals

Offences under HSWA that concern individuals other than employers are found in sections 7, 8, 36 and 37. Some regulations also place specific duties on individuals - such as Regulation 14 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

HSC’s Enforcement Policy Statement Paragraph 41 states:

‘Subject to the above, enforcing authorities should identify and prosecute or recommend prosecution of individuals if they consider that a prosecution is warranted. In particular, they should consider the management chain and the role played by individual directors and managers, and should take action against them where the inspection or investigation reveals that the offence was committed with their consent or connivance or to have been attributable to neglect on their part and where it would be appropriate to do so in accordance with this policy. Where appropriate, enforcing authorities should seek disqualification of directors under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

Any decision to recommend prosecution must nonetheless meet the criteria set out in the Enforcement Policy Statement generally, and the evidential sufficiency and public interest criteria. You should also see Prosecuting individuals for information on the prosecution of individuals.

Updated 2009-08-05