Employers have been given a stark choice under strict new laws governing health and safety in the workplace - shape up or risk prison. The government is looking to get tough and clamp down hard on companies putting their staff in jeopardy by cutting corners in the workplace.
The Health and Safety (Offences) Bill, which received Royal Assent on October 16, and came into force at the beginning of the year, makes imprisonment a real possibility for convicted firms.
Previously, prison was only an option for health and safety offences in three limited areas and was rarely used.
Now, prison is an option for health and safety offences in both the Magistrates and Crown Courts, and the maximum fine that can be imposed is up to 20,000.
During these tough economic times a fine of this size, which is around 15,000 more than could be previously expected, could hit many companies hard.
The good new is that Catalis Ltd, a highly regarded training and solutions provider to the rail industry, and member of the RTC Group PLC, can now lend its expertise to organizations outside of their traditional rail market, with the dedicated Health & Safety division.
Catalis has for over 70 years been recognised as a leading provider of safety training to the rail industry, a safety-critical environment tightly controlled by legislation, where a moment's inattention can cost lives.
The company has now built on this pedigree and is providing a comprehensive portfolio of health and safety training courses which are relevant to businesses, including those operating in manufacturing, construction, energy and government.
For companies where health and safety is not at the standard it should be, calling on Catalis' expertise could be the difference between upholding their legal obligations - or facing a large fine or even worse, the possibility of prison.
Catalis will help enable companies to meet the stringent legal requirements regarding the health and safety of its employees.
The firm, based in Derby, has the capacity to deliver a range of courses from the basic needs such as Manual Handling through to nationally-recognised qualifications such as the NEBOSH Diploma.
Employers can take advantage of open programmes or can hold a specially-reserved event at a location of their choice. Catalis have vast experience at creating bespoke solutions to cater for clients' specific training needs and this knowledge should be utilised by companies to ensure they are meeting the compulsory requirements.
Mark Bowers, Training Development Manager for Health and Safety at Catalis, said: "Employers need to be up-to-date with these new health and safety regulations because they have far-reaching consequences for the workplace.
"We have to make certain that we are up-to-date with the very latest developments in our arena and have an expert team of highly-trained staff who can assist companies by helping ensure that they meet government requirements.
"With the ever-increasing complexity of health and safety legislation, it is essential that companies stay on top of their training to make certain legal obligations are adhered to.
"Indeed all too often when budgets tighten the first thing to be cut is training - with the new legislation coming into force in 2009 there could be a very expensive price to pay for companies that go down this route. The reality being that organizations simply can't afford to neglect the safety of their employees.
"We can deliver both theoretical and practical training that meet the duty of care that employers must comply with in order to safeguard employees and satisfy legislative requirements."
For more information about Catalis and courses on offer, visit www.catalis.com or telephone 0845 880 8108.
Please mention LogisticsHandling.com when making an enquiry.