Posted 2015-11-10

You think you have what it takes to protect your lone workers and meet all your health and safety duties? Think again! Unless you want to deal with a £20m invoice.

The new ‘’Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guidelines’’ have been now published.

The guidelines from Sentencing Council confirms a dramatic increase in fines and suggests that judges should impose fines in relations to the size of the organizations. Large firms with an annual turnover of more than £50m and up to £10m, could face fines up to £20m for fatal health and safety offences. Managers or directors can be sent to prison for up to two years, where individuals are found guilty of a breach of duty to their employees.

Michael Caplan, a Sentencing Council Member explains further:

‘’These guidelines will introduce a consistent approach to sentencing, ensuring fair and proportionate sentences for those who cause death or injury to their employees and the public or put them at risk. These offences can have very serious consequences and it is important that sentences reflect these.’’

Penalty levels should be large enough to have an economic impact that would further highlight the importance of operating in a safe environment. Existing sanctions were felt to be too low to act as a deterrent, therefore the new guidelines will provide greater consistency in sentencing for offences that only occasionally come before judges.


What are the most dangerous jobs in UK?

According to the Health and Safety Executive, there was a slightly increase of incidents in 2014-2015, which reached 142 fatally injured workers, compared to 133 in 2013-2014. A Further 102 people were killed in work related accidents. Health and Safety Executive states that the construction sector involves the highest level of risk in UK, where 41 people died last year.

Following the publication from Tuesday 3rd November, the guidelines will come into force in courts on 1st February 2016.