Events such as the Grenfell Tower fire, the Government’s subsequent review of building safety and the COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted the importance of those in the housing sector complying with their health and safety obligations and the devastating consequences non-compliance can have.
Our regulatory team has extensive experience supporting housing providers with health and safety issues, enabling them to understand and comply with their obligations and advising should a serious incident occur. Our team is also able to provide representation for organisations facing enforcement action or criminal prosecution.
Health and safety legal support for social housing providers
The members of our regulatory team have varied and extensive experience in the following areas:
- Advising on compliance with safety obligations, including those related to gas safety, fire safety, Asbestos, Legionella, solid fuels and lifting equipment (both domestic and work-based);
- Advising on health and safety issues on construction sites, including compliance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and the obligations regarding work at height;
- Supporting and advising providers when a serious incident occurs, including providing assistance with internal investigations, reporting and corresponding with the relevant regulators and the Police and representation in Inquest Proceedings;
- Advising and representing organisations in relation to enforcement action by regulators (such as the Health and Safety Executive) and the Police. We have experience in dealing with Prohibition notices, Enforcement notices and criminal prosecutions;
- Advising and supporting on environmental issues – ranging from advice on issues, such as the Contaminated Land Regime, to enforcement action brought by the Environment Agency;
- Advising on the need to report to the Regulator of Social Housing for breaches of the Home Standard; and
- Reviewing and assessing safety policies and procedures and providing advice regarding amendments to ensure improved compliance.
Health and safety training for social housing providers
We provide in-house training sessions on safety-related issues for social housing providers, including training on internal investigations, Inquests and responses to serious incidents. These sessions can be tailored to include references to an organisation’s processes and procedures.
Recent examples of our health and safety legal advice to social housing providers
- We represented a large housing provider being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.
- We have represented multiple housing associations during Inquests. The Inquests covered issues such as out of hours emergency response, hoarding, fire safety and the provision of care.
- We have reviewed health and safety policies and procedures for housing providers, ensuring these documents are clear, compliant and practical.
- We have provided advice to housing providers in relation to their ongoing Health and Safety obligations during the COVID-19 Pandemic, including the requirement to complete gas safety checks and to arrange for Thorough Examinations under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
For more information on health and safety legal support for housing providers, please contact Tim Coolican.