False economy could be a criminal waste of money

New health and safety laws coming into effect in January promise to make penalties for lapses in health and safety much tougher for businesses and individuals.

The Health and Safety (Offences) Act will come into effect on 16th January 2009 and intends to "deter those tempted to break the law, and …deal appropriately with those who do commit offences." Three tough penalties are being introduced to act as a deterrent to businesses that are tempted to flout the law:

  • Certain offences will be triable in either the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court
  • Imprisonment will be a possible consequence for most health and safety breaches
  • The maximum fine available in the Magistrates’ Court will be raised from £5,000 to £20,000

British Red Cross First Aid training is echoing the sentiments of other leading health and safety organisations IoSH and the Health and Safety Executive, and is urging businesses not to let the credit crunch lead to cutting corners on essential training. Anna Brown, Sales and Marketing Manager explains,

"It seems like months now since we have been able to turn on the television or radio without being bombarded with news about the credit crunch. We are aware that many businesses are beginning to feel the pinch and are understandably looking for ways to make savings, but these tough new laws mean that cutting back on training could end up not only being a false economy but could be literally a criminal waste of your company's resources."

She continues,

"Unfortunately, accidents in the workplace can, and do happen and for the sake of trying to save a couple of hundred pounds providing your staff with the appropriate health and safety or first aid training you could end up facing a fine of up to £20,000.http://redcross.trainingcourses.ibrochures.co.uk/

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act it is the duty of all employers to provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure…the health and safety at work of employees."

British Red Cross First Aid Training provides a complete portfolio of courses that have been designed specifically to help industry meet this duty of care. In addition, the Red Cross recognises that many companies become daunted by the confusing red tape that is synonymous with the world of health and safety and offer a range of services and information to help employers decide on which training is appropriate to them.

Bucking the trend of reducing head counts in these testing economic times, the Red Cross has recently added to their number of expert first aid trainers as they are committed to helping businesses meet their obligations and avoid the severe new penalties.  

Notes to editors                                                                                                               
British Red Cross First Aid Training website can be viewed at www.redcrossfirstaidtraining.co.uk

The British Red Cross First Aid Training iBrochure is available at: http://redcross.trainingcourses.ibrochures.co.uk/

Course bookings can be made by calling 0844 871 8000
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

Lydia Mottershead
0161 888 8952

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