Fines of 1m plus have increased six fold in the past year. There are a number of factors which we believe have brought this about.
One of these factors is the introduction of the Sentencing Council’s Definitive Guideline for Health and Safety Offences, since which there have been 19 fines of £1m or more.
Admittedly there have been some high profile cases such as the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash, which led to the injury of 16 people, some severely and the accident to Hollywood actor Harrison Ford which involved a hydraulic door crushing his leg. What is interesting to note is that neither of these were fatalities and yet still achieved large fines.
There is an increase in society’s disapproval towards poor employers, especially those that fail to look after the health safety and well-being of their employees.
Having the right attitude towards health and safety brings its own benefits and is summed up well by IOSH’s Executive Director Shelly Frost: “Protecting employees and others affected by a business’s operations will not only eliminate the risk of a large financial penalty but can also be key to ensuring and maintaining an organisation’s strong reputation and ultimately contributing to its success.”
Here at Law At Work we pride ourselves on being proactive and promoting good health and safety for all.