Charlotte Waters, Mike Appleby and Louise Smail Bloomsbury Professional (, £95, paperback

HSE and Environment Agency prosecution: a new climate

The overlap between two distinct areas of regulatory law – health and safety and environmental – can be strewn with complications. It follows, therefore, that explaining how to overcome these, and communicating solutions to lawyer and non-lawyer alike, would be a testing challenge. But it is one that the authors of HSE and Environment Agency Prosecution have risen to.  



Their book is split into four dedicated sections, so that a busy professional can dip in and out. A user-friendly presentation helps the reader to ascertain a synopsis of a specific topic, but the book is also suitable for those who want more insight. 

The first section deals with managing risk and offers guidance on corporate governance, risk management techniques and business continuity.  

The second addresses the law and deals with the most serious criminal offences of corporate and gross negligence manslaughter. It explains the range of legal implications for organisations and individuals when allegations are made of health and safety and environmental offences.  

Next comes the investigation, enforcement and sentencing process. The initial incident reporting procedures are charted, with commentary on interviews under caution and explanation of the prosecution process. The way the book deals with the sentencing guidelines, and a court’s approach to arriving at a sentence, will benefit professionals and advisers who work within organisations and need to understand how penalties are determined.

Finally, the authors address inquests, public inquiries and civil claims. Again, they explain the evidential requirements and main procedural rules and practical considerations. They have included a chapter on the insurance framework, giving the reader a snapshot of the types of policies available for businesses and individuals. 

The book offers clear and straightforward explanations and guidance on both the legal and practical implications that businesses and individuals may face. I am sure that lawyers, or indeed anyone working in the health and safety and environmental fields, as well as in-house professionals, will find this book an invaluable addition to the office. One feature that impressed me was the compendium of case summaries at the back. The authors have taken the time to provide succinct commentary on the findings of the most important cases they have cited, and which affect all persons working in the health and safety and environmental sectors.

Overall, this book is a perfect resource offering an effective, quick practical guide of the salient issues, and is well worth the purchase price


Partner and head of the regulatory department, Blackfords LLP
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