Occupational Health and Safety Expert Witness

What is an occupational health and safety expert witness?

Occupational health and safety experts are concerned with the identification, prevention and control of health and safety hazards related to the work environment, as well as the assessment and management of accidents and illnesses which occur in the workplace, or as a result of work. They may advise on health and safety legislation and policy, contribute to risk assessment processes, and audit existing health and safety management systems.

male occupational health and safety officer inside factory doing inspection

Occupational health and safety experts are commonly engaged following an incident which is related to work or work activities. These are typically when a person has been involved in an accident for example a fall on a construction site or hearing loss following exposure to excessive levels of noise.

Many occupational health and safety experts have completed the National Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals (recently replacing the National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety). This meets the requirements of the main regulatory professional bodies.

Why might you need to instruct an occupational health and safety expert witness?

Occupational health and safety expert witnesses may be instructed for an expert opinion in any case of injury, accident or illness related to the workplace.

It may be appropriate to instruct an occupational health and safety expert if a person has suffered injury or ill-health (or other financial losses). Claims often include civil action for negligence and/or breach of statutory duty against whoever is deemed responsible. Occupational health and safety experts can aid the court in determining whether the defendant met the requisite statutory or common law standards and help evaluate successful claims.

Experts in occupational health and safety may also be instructed in criminal cases. Serious accidents or ill-health as a result of occupation have to be reported to the relevant regulatory body. This is typically the Health and Safety Executive or the respective local authority. Such cases may be investigated and if it is deemed in the public interest a prosecution brought against those deemed responsible, whether it be an employer or an employee. This often includes a failure to adequately manage health and safety within an organisation such as by failing to adequately assess and control risks in the workplace. In exceptional circumstances following a death at work, a prosecution for manslaughter or even corporate manslaughter may be brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (in England and Wales).

Incidences where an occupational health and safety expert may be instructed include:

  • Management of health and safety at work
  • Issues to do with risk and risk assessment
  • Exposure to noise including noise risk assessments
  • Falls from a height
  • Crush injuries
  • Sharps accidents and needlestick injuries
  • Work related illnesses for example asbestosis
  • Management of stress at work and psychological injury
  • Chemical burns
  • Other hazardous substances
  • Deviations from existing health and safety policy and legislation

What experts does Expert Court Reports have?

We have a highly experienced and well-respected occupational health and safety expert witness on our panel, Dr David Wenham.

Dr Wenham is a health and safety professional with over 40 years’ experience in enforcement as an HSE inspector, and has worked as a university lecturer, consultant, examiner and in course development and management.

He has been providing written and oral evidence in both criminal and civil cases, including inquest, since 1995. He is a university-certificated Expert Witness in both Criminal and Civil Law.

Dr Wenham is often instructed in cases concerning the management of health and safety at work including policy, leadership, competence, supervision, training and co-operation; risk assessment, and workplace accidental injury.

Why use Expert Court Reports?

A good expert witness should come with years of clinical experience as well as specific competencies to act as an expert witness. Look for someone who has established expert witness experience. Our occupational health and safety expert, Dr David Wenham, has many years of clinical practice and established experience of acting as an expert witness.

How quickly can you provide a report?

At Expert Court Reports Ltd, we understand the pressures of the legal profession. We recognise that litigation is subject to defined timescales and for this reason, we will be as flexible and accommodating as we are able to be. However, we pride ourselves on not promising work that cannot be reliably delivered within a given timescale. The quality of the evidence which is provided by our experts is subject to review and scrutiny. All expert reports are subject to a detailed and robust proofreading process to ensure that our expert evidence is accurate and expertly formatted.

Instructing an expert witness

If you would like to find out more about how our occupational health and safety expert witness could assist you, please call us on 01865 587865, email office@expertcourtreports.co.uk, or request a quote by completing our online form.