The Health & Safety Sentencing Revolution
1 February 2016 saw the biggest change in health and safety
enforcement for over 40 years, since the Health and Safety at Work
Act (HSWA) came into force in 1974.
The new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences and
corporate manslaughter sets out a nine-step codified approach tied
to corporate turnover.
Every business or organisation that has employees or other
workers for which it is responsible for their health and safety
needs to know about the new sentencing guidelines and how they will
impact upon their business. It is now vital to bring the importance
of health and safety to the attention of board members and senior
executives and explain how the law expects them to act in order to
avoid colossal financial penalties and stay out of jail.
George Coyle, head of Rollits' Regulatory Team said "1 February
2016 marked the day that the financial penalties for corporate
manslaughter, health and safety, and hygiene offences rose to an
astonishing level. In appropriate cases the Court can, and
will, now impose a financial penalty in the knowledge that it will
lead to the financial collapse of the business upon whom the fine
has been imposed.
"This is all part of a drive to ensure regulatory compliance
and, in particular, to ensure that it is more expensive not to
comply with relevant regulations than it would be to comply with
"It is now even more important for businesses (and the
individuals responsible for health and safety matters) to be on
their guard whenever "an inspector calls"."
Posted on: 02/02/2016
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.
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