The Health and Safety Consultant keeping small business safe
    Home » Family-run Businesses

Health and Safety in Family Businesses

Family-run businesses are especially exposed to health and safety legislation.

Over 70% of non-compliant businesses are owned and operated by family members and when an accident happens it can be catastrophic; 80% of businesses fail to survive a major event.

When a business is prosecuted for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the fine can be unlimited.  If the business is convicted, it is also likely that it will be ordered to pay the court’s costs as well as its own legal fees.  Taken as a whole, the totality of fines, legal fees and costs can be crippling but when you add them to the costs and consequences arising from the simultaneous conviction of its directors or partners, many businesses do not survive.

Many do not realise that each individual director and partner and every senior manager is also liable for a breach of health and safety regulations and may be personally prosecuted as well as the business.   Where a death has occurred, that can include a charge of manslaughter by gross negligence. 

When an individual is convicted, the resultant fine – which is unlimited – is in addition to any fine payable by the business and the individual may also receive a substantial prison sentence.  The individual’s legal fees will also have to be paid and so will any additional court costs.

When one individual in a family is so exposed it is traumatic enough.  When it is several members from the same family, it is even worse.

Family-run businesses are more prone to health and safety failing because of the organic nature of their development and organisational structure.  Generally, individual areas of responsibility are less well defined and the business operates on a system of traditions rather than on systematic policies and procedures.  When it comes to health and safety this leaves each individual exposed to the cracks..

We will be happy to conduct a health and safety audit to highlight where this exposure may lie and then to put in place the policies and procedures you need to protect your business, yourself and your family. Contact Us for peace of mind.

Did you know:

Creating and reinforcing
a positive outlook towards
health and safety is part of a successful, positive, can-do business culture

Managers and line managers
and all employees have
an important role to play
and should be consulted

Call on 01452 864213 or Click to Email us now