As I am sure you are aware, in February 2016, the Sentencing Council’s new definitive sentencing guidelines for health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food safety offences came into force.
According to SHP, ‘Ever since the Sentencing Council proposed these new guidelines, the health and safety industry has anticipated a revolutionary impact on the levels of fines compared to those that have historically been handed down for simple health and safety breaches committed by corporate entities.’ The maximum fine being a sizeable £20 million and an individual director may receive up to 2 years imprisonment. (K&L GATES)
ConocoPhillips (UK) Limited became the first very large organisation to be convicted and sentenced under the new regime. Although nobody was actually injured as a result of the health and safety breaches, due to a communication breakdown workers were sent to investigate an incident while there was still dangerous gas present.
This demonstrates the dramatic shift in the landscape of health and safety sentencing. A breach which did not result in injury may have previously incurred a fine in the thousands, as opposed to millions, which it was for Conoco.
Whilst most businesses take reasonable action to ensure that stakeholders at all levels, including the board, receives health and safety advice the question that is often unresolved is how are you ensuring that all staff – including the board –are sufficiently trained and competent in their health and safety responsibilities such that personal and corporate risk is minimised?
Ensuring that information, updates and alerts can be easily disseminated; easily accessed; and that feedback and measurement are easy to record are all vital components of successful health and safety program.
mHub makes this process simple. Providing a dedicated application with push notifications allowing alerts and information to be viewed online or offline, it is ideal for office as well as remote or field-based staff. A company’s ability to communicate effectively – and measure who has seen the communication – using the mHub app, can help avoid a communication breakdown that may lead to potentially life threatening risk and a corporate breach of the Health and Safety standards .
I’d like to draw your attention to a recent client of ours, the challenges they face in this area and mHub is helping them to minimise risk and ensure compliance.
Case Study: National Gas Distribution
A UK gas distribution company
- Poor information flow: The organisation had no consistent or effective means of getting their numerous health and safety policy documents, updates and videos to their field based engineers.
- Outdated and inefficient: The engineers struggled to rely on searching through outdated printed versions of the policies. The company had no way of ensuring policy updates were adhered to and that the engineers were compliant.
- Limited Connectivity: Their engineers are often working in remote locations with a limited internet connection, making information access more difficult.
- Branded Health & Safety app is pushed to engineer’s mobile device: secured by Single Sign On and complete with health & safety content neatly organised into channels. Engineers are instantly notified when a new policy is received or updated.
- Access to information is quick and easy: Content can be easily found with powerful in-document search. It can be downloaded for offline viewing and the engineers can feedback to collaborate more effectively.
- mHub Platform is used: The team can easily create and package digital content. mHub analytics track usage to ensure compliance and that policies have been reviewed.
- Operational effectiveness and productivity improve: Fast access to up-to-date information means that engineers are more competent and productive. Critical health & safety information is received and understood, ensuring compliance at all times.
- Time is saved: Face to face meetings and training days are reduced. Time wasted searching through hundreds of policies is significantly reduced. Consequently, more time is invested serving customers and delivering revenue.
- Teams become connected and engaged: Internal teams can manage and respond to feedback from field-based engineers, continually improving service and productivity.