The Courts and Risk: A case of “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue”?

Summary of the presentation given by Dr Louise Smail and Mike Appleby of Fisher Scoggins Waters at DAC Beachcroft 23rd January 2020

The Presentation

The 2016 Sentencing Guideline observes that health and safety offences are concerned with failures to manage risks to health and safety.  Yet neither the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 nor the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 define ‘risk’.  Organisations have been wrestling with risk assessment and safety management for some time. Arguably the approach of the courts does not always reflect risk management in real life. This talk explores court decisions concerning health and safety risk and poses the question of whether there is a danger of some decisions ultimately having a detrimental influence upon safety.  If so, is it time for the courts to be provided with guidance on risk?


The Courts and Risk: A Case of “I’m sorry I haven’t a Clue”? Presentation slides.

The Courts and Risk: A Case of “I’m sorry I haven’t a Clue”? Summary.

The speakers

Dr Louise Smail is a risk and safety consultant at Fisher Scoggins Waters.

Mike Appleby is a partner at Fisher Scoggins Waters.

Louise and Mike are co-authors with their colleague Charlotte Waters of HSE and Environment Agency Prosecution: The New Climate (Bloomsbury Professional 2019).

You can download a preface of the book by clicking the image below.

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