Health and safety fines have risen by over 140% according to new research published by the BBC: with the average cost of a fine rising from £69,500 in 2015 to £211,000.
New, tougher sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter, food safety and hygiene offences came into force in February 2016; which would account for this increase. The size of the fine imposed will depend on the company’s turnover/size and courts will also have to determine the category of an offence based on the level of culpability and the level of harm.
Furthermore, the number of Directors being individually prosecuted has also seen a rise. The industries that have seen the highest number of prosecutions include: manufacturing, construction, agriculture and transport/storage.
Given the clear impact of these sentencing guidelines we will be discussing this, as well as other topical issues, at our upcoming ‘Real Health and Safety Conference’ on 8 June. There will also be industry-specific breakout sessions for the construction, food and agriculture and transport industries, as well as a catch-all session for all other organisations.
The content of this article is for general information only. If you require any health and safety advice please get in touch with a member of Birketts’ Health and Safety Team.