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Construction health and safety fines up 83%

 

The value of construction sector health and safety related fines almost £13 million.

 

New sentencing guidance has toughened penalties for health and safety breaches

The new sentencing guidance introduced on the 1 February 2016 increased penalties for health and safety and corporate manslaughter offences. A report compiled by global law firm Clyde and Co. reported fines against the construction sector represented 21% of the overall total. The highest fine imposed on the construction sector was £2.6 million with £54,000 costs, after a fatality when a trench collapsed on a 32 year old sub-contractor working for a multinational main contractor.

The most dramatic change to health and safety legislation

When the guidelines were introduced they were described as the most dramatic change to health and safety legislation since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act in 1974. The guidelines introduced a structured nine step approach for the Court to follow and calculate sentences. This involves a series of tables to reach recommended starting point fines, as well as ranges of fines above and below the starting points.

The HSE has a 94% conviction rate when they prosecute

When the HSE presents criminal cases before the courts, 94% result in prosecutions in the UK which lead to successful convictions. The value of construction sector health and safety related fines have almost doubled to almost £13 million.

“The cases that have passed through the courts have reinforced the dramatic effect the new sentencing regime is having on defendant organisations. The HSE has a 94% conviction rate when they prosecute so the consequences of receiving a summons are considerable.”

Rhian Greaves, Head of Compliance & Strategic Support in Clyde and Co

The key is to make sure you operate safely

If you are in any doubt, you can call upon RISK to provide health and safety advice for your company as well as the very highest standards of industry relevant training.