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    DEVELOPING TRENDS IN RECENT PROSECUTIONS

    Lawyers provide useful review of health and safety cases

    Kevin Bridges and Alex Hudson, Health and Safety law specialists at the law firm Pinsent Masons, have written an article published on Out-Law.com which provides a useful review of trends in recent health and safety prosecutions.

    The article highlights two recent cases which involved breaches of working at height regulations where the worker was prosecuted after failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others.

    In addition, the lawyers point out that recent corporate prosecutions show significant sentences for both fatal and non-fatal incidents, including the 2016 prosecutions of both Tesco Stores Ltd and Tesco Maintenance Ltd for an incident in which an employee fell 30 feet through a skylight but suffered only minor injuries. The companies were fined £200,000 and £300,000 respectively and:

    “Fines of this nature are a stark reminder of the fact that health and safety offences are concerned with failures to manage risks, and do not require proof that the offence caused any actual harm.

    The known risks of death, physical or mental impairment and significantly reduced life expectancy associated with working at height mean that these offences will almost always fall into the highest ‘level A’ category of harm under the relevant Sentencing Guideline, which is then used in combination with the offender’s culpability, turnover and the likelihood of harm occurring to determine a starting point sentence.”

     

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