• Total Access Total Access Ethentic Ethentic
    Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data

    HEALTH SAFETY PROSECUTION PENALTIES INCREASE

    Movement of cases to lower courts triggers rise in average  fines 

    The Government has published a report Health and Safety Act 2008: Post-legislative scrutiny memorandum 16 January 2014. The  report has found that “tougher penalties” are being handed out to employers for breaches of health and safety legislation following a “change in approach to prosecutions”.

    The changes introduced under the Health and Safety Offences Act are said to have led to more cases being tried in the lower courts, higher fines handed out to convicted offenders and more prison terms imposed for “unscrupulous employers” who pay scant regard to the welfare of their staff or the public.

    Penalties for breach of regulations rise by 60% 

    The review was conducted by the HSE on behalf of the DWP and the report reviews the first 5 years of the Act. The purpose of the Act was to raise the maximum penalties available to the courts for certain health and safety offences by altering the penalty framework set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act.

    Key findings of the report include:

    • 86% of cases heard in the lower courts cf 70% in the period leading up to introduction of the Act;
    • average fine imposed for breaches of regulations alone increased by 60%, from £4,577 to £7,310;
    • cases involving breaches of regulations and HSW Act average increase by 25% £13,334 to £16,730); and
    • 346 cases attracted fines of more than £5,000 (prior to the Act max capped at £5,000);

    The purpose of the Act was to increase the maximum penalties for workplace health and safety offences that could be heard in both the lower and higher courts. It was believed that if the penalties were increased it would provide a greater deterrent to would-be offenders.

    The maximum fine that could be imposed by the lower courts increased four-fold from £5,000 to £20,000.

    Clear message to unscrupulous employers

    Magistrates and Sheriffs were also given greater powers to send an offender to prison. In the past custodial sentences were reserved for specific cases, but now someone can be sent to prison for the majority of offences.

    And certain offences that in the past could only be tried in the lower courts, such as the failure to comply with an improvement order, were made triable in either court, meaning the offender could face a much tougher sentence if their case was referred to the Crown Court.

    Minister of State for Health and Safety Mike Penning said:

    “By handing greater sentencing powers to Magistrates and Sheriffs it has sent a clear message to unscrupulous employers that if they do not take their responsibilities seriously they will face stiff penalties, which include heavy fines and – in the very worst cases – prison.

    At the same time it has removed the burden of prosecuting all but the most serious of cases through the Crown Courts, which is generally less efficient, more time-consuming and more expensive than hearings held at the lower courts.”

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 11th JULY 2018

    hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices register latest version

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th July 2018

    SCAFFOLDER DEVELOPMENT EMBRACED BY INDUSTRY

    CPD training attracts over 2500 scaffolders during first year of operation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th July 2018

    SECURITY PANELS FELL DESPITE EARLY WARNING

    Firm fined £1/4 million after worker crushed by falling fencing

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    VEHICLE STRIKE TRIGGERED FALL OF ROOF TRUSSES

    Manufacturer failed to identify a suitable safe system of work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    INCIDENT: CHILD STRUCK BY FALLING OBJECT

    Wood falling from scaffold triggers arrest of two on construction site

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    IGNITION OF THINNERS VAPOUR CLAIMED TWO LIVES

    Refurbishment project director jailed over fatal use of flammable solvent

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    HSE LONDON REFURBISHMENT CAMPAIGN FINDINGS

    hselogo1Material breaches of law found at over 50% of London sites visited

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th July 2018

    CURFEW AND TAGGING FOR RECALCITRANT SCAFFOLDER

    Suspended jail sentence handed down after unsafe work at height

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th July 2018

    CONSTRUCTION SECTOR DEATHS RISE SHARPLY

    HSE report construction worker deaths increase by 27% during 2017/18

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th July 2018

    BUILD UK UPDATE KEY CONSTRUCTION H&S ADVICE

    Majors industry body endorses “go to” source of H&S information

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd July 2018

    OXYGEN CYLINDER “FIRED” INTO WORKSHOP

    Violent discharge of gas bottle seriously injured two engineers

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd July 2018

    PRISON SENTENCE OVER FAILURE TO MANAGE RISK

    Sole trader contractor ignored HSE advice once too often

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd July 2018

    DEATH EXPOSED MINIMAL MEWP MAINTENANCE

    Court told about “almost complete” lack of MEWP maintenance

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    CONTRACTOR FAILED TO IDENTIFY ASBESTOS PRESENCE

    ACMs disturbed during works and firm failed to take suitable actions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    FALL THROUGH ROOF ON LOCAL COUNCIL BUILDING

    Fragile rooflight fractured when workman ‘misplaced footing’

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    YOUNG WORKER POSED SPECIAL RISK TO CONTROL

    Conviction highlights duty to young persons and the vulnerable

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    TOWER DEFECTS AND UNSAFE SYSTEM CAUSED DEATH

    Maintenance supervisor fell to his death through roof opening

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    UK MAJOR FINED £1/2m OVER HAVS RISK FAILURES

    Danger caused by poor management of vibrating hand tool risk

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    DIRECTOR FAILED TO COMPLY WITH PROHIBITION

    Precautions not taken to prevent excavation collapse and falling

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th June 2018

    SCAFFOLD NOT TO INDUSTRY STANDARD OR DESIGN

    Specialist and contractor in court over unsafe work at height

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th June 2018

    ROAD WORKER RUN OVER BY ROAD ROLLER

    Reversing alarm not working and warning light not fitted

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th June 2018

    CLIENT AND SURVEYOR FINED OVER ASBESTOS SURVEY

    Refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey proved inadequate

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th June 2018

    FATALITY: ROAD WORKER DRAGGED ALONG ROAD

    Night shift worker loses life when struck by road sweeping vehicle

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    CDM PRINCIPAL DESIGNERS AVOID HSE ENFORCEMENT

    Regulator enforcement database reveals few notices involve CDM PDs

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    PROPERTY MANAGERS FINED WITH CONTRACTOR

    Defendants failed to check for asbestos during soffit replacement works

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th May 2018
    Total Access Total Access Ethentic Ethentic
    Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data