“Health and safety is our number one priority,” says Godfrey. “It’s not a joke, or a pointless rule, it’s the difference between life and death.”
Being a considerate and law-abiding boss has its downsides however. “We pass the cost of the health and safety procedures on to the client,” says the boss of this £5m-turnover firm. “If a cowboy operation wants to undercut our quote for say, replacing a chimney stack, all they have to do is agree to forego the scaffolding.”
With the amended corporate manslaughter rules coming into force, companies that cut corners in health and safety will be held personally responsible for injuries and fatalities. Should the worker from aforementioned cowboy firm fall and die, there’s no escape for the negligent firm.
“Telling your staff to be careful is not enough,” says Godfrey. “If we see any of our guys taking risks on a building site, we come down on them like a tonne of bricks.”