Lyons Davidson simulate interviews under caution to health and safety managers and consultants
Lyons Davidson’s head of Regulatory Corporate Crime, together with colleagues, recently gave a presentation to regional businesses and consultants from various industries at the Avon Occupational Safety and Health Group Conference.
Health and safety law
AOSH is a local society that promotes health, safety, welfare and environmental knowledge, understanding and best practice among employers in the Bristol area. At the conference, which took place in December, the team held a discussion on the subject of the ‘Interview Under Caution’ process, followed by a real-time simulated interview.
Following any industrial incident, the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency and local authority are usually quick on the scene. The vital moments from the accident up to (and including) the interview under caution can be critical and often contribute to any decision to prosecute by the regulators.
Interview under caution
The mock interview under caution illustrated what can happen if businesses are not prepared for this critical stage in the investigation. Even the most well-informed, eloquent and coherent Managing Director can crumble under pressure when told: “You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”
What is said in the interview under caution is of utmost importance. As Ed Cape, who writes on criminal procedure, says: “An interview is an instrument for creating evidence [and] often a mechanism for justifying and helping to prove that the police’s belief that a suspect is guilty is correct.”
Therefore, it is essential that businesses seek specialist legal advice and input as early as possible after an incident. What may be an intimidating and daunting process can be made easier to deal with when an experienced specialist is on hand to advise.
A specialist legal team can assist with how to respond to an invitation to attend an interview under caution. Any decision should always be made in the cold light of day, having been advised of all the options available and the possible consequences of each.
Specialising in regulatory compliance, Lyons Davidson’s Regulatory Corporate Crime team frequently speaks at events aimed at public and private sector organisations to help develop a proactive approach to health and safety and other regulatory legislation.
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Posted on Jan 14th, 2013 by Lyons Davidson