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Disciplinary process following an Health & Safety breach by an employee – A Case Study

 Our Client 


A wholesaler with their own warehouse and logistic facilities.

The senior management team were extremely concerned about an accident that occurred on their premises which could have had a devastating impact on employee safety and the companies reputation.

The Challenge


Our client wanted to ensure that they carried took appropriate action following an incident in August 2023 when an employee operating a LOLOP (low level order picker) collided with a van causing significant damage to the van doors and central locking system.  The employee had received training and had been signed off as being competent to drive the LOLOP one year prior to the accident. The employer had carried out an initial investigation and noted that the findings were not consistent with the version of events that the employee had relayed to their line manager immediately following the incident. The employer was looking for advice and support of how to deal with the difficult situation as the employee already had a warning on file for a similar misconduct within the previous 12 months


Our Solution 

Absolute Works recommended that the client needed to carry out another thorough investigation immediately and appoint an investigation officer. We agreed that we would support them throughout the process to ensure that they carried out a fair and robust procedure and achieve the appropriate outcome whilst complying with employment and health and safety legislation.

With our support, we ensured that the client reviewed and documented all the evidence.  This included reviewing the CCTV footage, obtaining employee, and witness statements and checking the condition of the Lollop. We also ensured that our client pursued this in line with the employer’s disciplinary process.  We recommended that the employer contact the manufacture to visit the premises to check the Lollop, who confirmed that none of Lollops were faulty and therefore concluding driver error.  The investigating officer found that the employees’ recollection of the events was inconsistent with the CCTV footage. Furthermore, the employer had put in place a procedure prior to this incident which would have further prevented this accident and which was communicated to all employees. Refresher LOLOP training had also been carried out.

We supported the investigation officer in preparing a report for the disciplining officer and they referred the matter to the disciplinary officer to determine whether the mater should progress to a disciplinary hearing.


The Outcome

The disciplining officer decided that it should progress to a disciplinary hearing. With our continued support, the employee received an invitation to disciplinary meeting providing the correct notice and the right to be accompanied by a co-worker or a TU representative included.

Our involvement ensured that the client fulfilled their obligations under employment legislation and health and safety legislation, throughout all the meetings and decision-making process.

We also ensured that the client followed their process, procedures, and contractual obligations throughout; that accurate notes were taken from meetings and the investigation.

When the employee was presented with the evidence collected, they admitted that they had been negligent. The employee signed to confirm that they were happy with all the notes from the meeting.

The employer reached a fair decision and we supported the client with an outcome letter which they issued to their employee, giving the employee the right to appeal.  They did not appeal the decision of the disciplinary officer. The employee acknowledged that the investigation and disciplinary process was carried out professionally and fairly and the outcome reflected the gravity of the situation.

Following the incident, we also recommended that the employer carry out refresher training on correct and proper use of the LOLOPS and to reiterate the procedure.



Assistance with Disciplinaries – H&S breach

rerecommend ,

In all cases of disciplinary action, it is important that a procedure is followed, this would ideally be contained within an employee Handbook or Policy alternatively and as a minimum there would be an expectation that the ACAS procedure is followed. Failure to do so may put an employer at risk of legal challenge. For any assistance with drafting and implementing a disciplinary policy, carrying out an investigation or hearing or even training on carrying out activities associated with disciplinaries please contact a member of the team 0333 2005153 or complete the contact form here.



Our client had put in place procedures and training to minimise any risk to health and safety however in this instance the employee was negligent, fortunately in this case, no one was injured. For any health and safety related services or guidance, we would recommend speaking to our Health & Safety partner  Safety Forward | UK Health and Safety Consultancy.  Marissa and her team would be more than happy to assist.

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Absolute Works make HR and Employment painless and stress free in such a way that our team


Absolute Works make HR and Employment painless and stress free in such a way that our team


Absolute Works make HR and Employment painless and stress free in such a way that our team


Absolute Works make HR and Employment painless and stress free in such a way that our team


Absolute Works make HR and Employment painless and stress free in such a way that our team


Absolute Works make HR and Employment painless and stress free in such a way that our team

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