H&S Updates, Health & Safety

Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines – Recap and Review

Last February, we reported on the new sentencing guidelines introduced for breach of health & safety laws. It was expected that the value of fines would increase, particularly for larger organisations, and more directors, managers and employees would be imprisoned for breaching health & safety laws. The Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH), in conjunction with law firm Osborne Clarke LLP, has released a report outlining some of the resulting changes since the guidelines were introduced, including, as expected, heftier fines and tougher sentences.

The New Guidelines

For most health & safety offences, the law now offers unlimited fines, leaving it to judges and magistrates to decide how the fine should ‘fit the crime’. To help the Court the Sentencing Council created the new guidelines.

The guidelines established four significant factors which would significantly increase the level of fines and the threshold for imprisonment, meaning that this will be reached much more easily than it has before. The structured approach that the courts must follow involves fitting ‘culpability’, ‘likelihood’ and ‘harm’ factors into a series of predefined tables to reach recommended starting point fines, as well as ranges of fines above and below the starting points. Again, with the imprisonment of individuals, the tables stipulate ranges of sentences above and below various starting points.

The new guidelines see a significant shift from the traditional result-based approach (what was the seriousness of the injury and were there fatalities) to a more risk-based approach (how serious was the potential harm that was risked).

Impact on Sentencing

The report by IOSH and Osborne Clarke LLP shows there has been a significant increase in fines during 2016 as a result of the new guidelines: nineteen companies received fines of £1million or more which, when you compare with just three in 2015 and none in 2014 receiving such hefty fines, there is a very significant increase. The report also states that the total income from the highest 20 fines in 2016 (£38.58 million) was higher than the total fine income for the 660 prosecutions successfully brought by the HSE in its reporting year of 2015/2016.

Get Your Health & Safety Management in Order

The new guidelines should act as a wake-up call to employers: our legal system is serious about health & safety and will impose the harshest penalties available to it – whether or not there are fatalities involved. Good health & safety management by employers and relevant technical training for employees can help minimise the risk of injury and workplace illness, which considerably lessens the chance of prosecution, financial penalty and imprisonment. If you require ongoing Health & Safety Services, explore our website today. 

Speak to one of Park City’s IOSH-qualified consultants to find out what steps you need to take to provide a safe working environment, or take the opportunity to have a free health & safety business health check.

Get in Touch

Name

Schedule A Call

Simply click below to schedule a call with a specialist to discuss your business requirements.

Saul HunnaballSaul Hunnaball
15:44 12 Aug 22
We have worked with Park City for our HR and Health and Safety support for many years now and have always received an excellent service.Carley is our Consultant and she is always so helpful, as are... her colleagues when she is unavailable.I would highly recommend Park City.read more
Lea CuttingLea Cutting
08:31 27 Jul 22
Park City have worked with us for many years, advising and guiding us regarding HR and Health & Safety, along with supplying valuable training.We work with many people in several areas of expertise,... Sara Godfrey, Jennie Galione, Ashley Williams, Sam Parcell, Stephanie Devans, Poppy Hayhoe.They build confidence within our company and are always available with support and advice.They provide a consistent, professional, hands-on service, second to none!Thank you from DH Industries Limited.read more
Vikki PringleVikki Pringle
11:12 20 Jul 22
The team at Park City offer us the right level of service needed to confidently run a small business. They keep us up to date with UK policy HR requirements, help us manage any staff changes or... issues and policy documents. The team are informed, friendly and remain professional in my experience.read more
Tracy MeadTracy Mead
07:12 20 Jul 22
The DS Group have been working with Park City now for a number of years and we have found their HR services to be invaluable. The service received is always to the highest professional standards and... they have assisted our business in becoming more efficient and effective in all HR matters.My consultant Sam Parcell is always on hand to help answering any questions quickly and professionally and she offers vital guidance, advice and support to us.We as a company will continue to use Park City’s services for many years to come and we cannot recommend them enough!Tracy Norton-Mead, Operations Director at the DS Group.read more
Katie HerbertKatie Herbert
13:35 07 Jul 22
We have worked with Park City for almost 10 years and have built up a great professional relationship over the years. The team are so friendly and helpful, and nothing is ever too much of an ask for... any of them. Our main HR contact is Carley, who is lovely, and she is very prompt in dealing with any queries we have regarding our 100+ staff. We would highly recommend their services for any local business.read more
js_loader

Suggested For You…

Google Rating
4.9
Based on 37 reviews
js_loader