Professional Pest Controller issue 92

30 August 2018

Health, safety and compliance considerations for family-run pest control businesses

Legislation | PPC92 September 2018

Running a family business can sometimes mean that policies and procedures may be treated as being ‘flexible’. We invited Nathan Jones, Director and Head of Health and Safety at BPCA BusinessShield, to look at some of the challenges that a family business may face.

Health and safety consoderations for family-run business

The size of a business can have a significant impact on compliance, especially if there are less than five employees, as it usually means that a smaller workforce may mean lower compliance.

If you work for the family business here are some things you need to consider when it comes to non-compliance and health and safety at work.

Businesses rarely survive a non-compliance

Research shows that over 70% of non-compliant businesses are owned and operated by family members, and when an accident happens it can be catastrophic. 80% of businesses fail to survive a major event.

Non-compliant businesses get prosecuted

When a business is prosecuted for a breach of legislation ie Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the fine can be unlimited.

If your business is convicted, it is also likely that you’ll be ordered to pay the court’s costs as well as your own legal fees. Taken as a whole, the totality of fines, legal fees and costs can be
crippling, but when you add them to the costs and consequences arising from the simultaneous conviction of your directors or partners, many businesses do not survive.

Everyone can be individually prosecuted

It is important to consider the fact that each individual director, partner and every senior manager is also liable for a breach of health and safety regulations and may be personally prosecuted as well as the business. Where a death has occurred, that can include a charge of manslaughter by gross negligence.

The company is liable for individual fines

When an individual is convicted, the resultant fine (again, unlimited) is in addition to any fine payable by the business and the individual may also receive a substantial prison sentence. The individual’s legal fees will also have to be paid and so will any additional court costs.

When one individual in a family is so exposed it is traumatic enough. When it is several members of the same family, it is even worse.

Family businesses are statistically most at risk

Family-run businesses are more prone to health and safety failing because of the organic nature of their development and organisational structure. Generally, individual areas of responsibility are less well defined, and the business operates on a system of traditions rather than on systematic policies and procedures. When it comes to health and safety, this leaves each individual exposed to the cracks.

BusinessShield Member Benefit

BPCA BusinessShield is a membership benefit available to all BPCA member companies and those on the probationary scheme. We can help ensure that family-run businesses are fully aware of their duties of care and the consequence of failing to discharge said duties.

We then offer sensible solutions to keep your business, your employees (and potentially your family) safe.
0345 076 6485

< Contents Next article >

Ben Crawford
Head of HR and Employment Law 
BPCA BusinessShield
September 2018  |  PPC92

Source: PPC92

Don't miss View all news

17 October 2019

Latest news

VIDEO: Professional flea control

Watch back our webinar on professional flea control. Natalie talks all things professional flea management, including biology, client communication and lifestyle. The webinar also highlights so

Read more

27 September 2019

Latest news

New way to pass your Level 2 Award in Pest Management

BPCA has announced a new 7-day, modular, non-residential training course in the centre of London this November. As part of its membership criteria, BPCA recognises the Level 2 Award in Pest Man

Read more

13 September 2019

Latest news

BPCA on food: open letter on the role of pest management in National Food Strategy

BPCA has written an open letter to contribute to the independent review on developing a national food strategy, commissioned by Defra. We set out our case for the inclusion of pest management provis

Read more

03 September 2018

Latest news

President foreword: I know where the summer goes

President foreword | PPC92 Last time we spoke I started by wishing us all for better weather – well we certainly got that, didn’t we? I hope that the heatwave has resulte

Read more

03 September 2018

Latest news

Chief Exec viewpoint: First 100(ish) days

Chief Exec viewpoint | PPC91 May 2018 Oh, the glamour of being a CEO. In my first hundred days in the job I have trudged around a caravan park in Bridlington when the Beast from the E

Read more

03 September 2018

Latest news

An introduction to effective bird management

Technical | PPC92 September 2018 Bird management is a tricky but crucial arm of public health pest control and potentially a huge growth area for a professional servicing company willin

Read more