Rise in Director-level Health and Safety Prosecutions

The number of company directors prosecuted for health and safety offences has more than tripled in a year, according to data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

In the 12 months to 31 March 2016 the HSE prosecuted 46 company directors and senior managers, compared with only 15 in the previous 12 months. Of the 46 people prosecuted, 34 were found guilty and 12 resulted in prison sentences of up to two years. This seems to confirm that the HSE are indeed actively pursuing senior individuals within businesses to ensure health and safety is taken seriously in boardrooms across the UK.

The majority of director prosecutions relate to SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises), with turnover-related fines accompanying custodial sentences as deemed appropriate by the courts.  In the first six months since the new sentencing guidelines were introduced, the total value of fines imposed following HSE prosecutions increased by 43%. In total £20.6m worth of fines were handed out between February and August 2016, compared with £14.4m in February to August 2015.

In several cases, turnover-related fines have exceeded the £1m mark – even for non-fatal offences. Such sums represent a business-critical threat to companies, warranting  a renewed approach requiring all directors – both  executive and non-executive - to take a personal interest in health and safety and to treat the matter seriously.

We offer a range of packages and services to assist companies large and small with their health and safety responsibilities, to help ensure safe working practices and compliance with legislation. Basic packages are not only affordable but infinitely preferable to the potential consequences of a prosecution.

Are you sure you can keep calm and carry on?

Contact us for further advice and assistance.

"........adding value to safety."

in Oxfordshire  -  Gloucestershire  -  Wiltshire  -  Buckinghamshire  -  Bedfordshire  -  Hertfordshire  -  Berkshire  -  Lincolnshire