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» Back to listing Tougher penalties for breach of health and safety laws

11th February 2014

Tougher penalties are being handed out to employers who breach health and safety laws following a change in approach to prosecutions, according to a report released on 16 January.

 The report, published by the Department for Work and Pensions, shows that the changes introduced under the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 have led to more cases being tried in the lower courts, convicted offenders being given higher fines, and more custodial sentences. 
 
Key findings of the report include: 
  • 86 per cent of cases were heard in the lower courts after the Act came into force – compared to 70 per cent in the period leading up to its introduction;
  • the average fine imposed by the courts involving breaches of health and safety regulations alone increased by 60 per cent, from £4,577 to £7,310;
  • for cases involving breaches of both health and safety regulations and the HSWA 1974, the average increase was 25 per cent from £13,334 to £16,730;
  • 346 cases attracted fines of more than £5,000 – prior to the Act, the maximum fine that could be imposed was capped at £5,000.

For the full repoert visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271436/h_s-post-legislative-scrutiny-memo-january-2014.pdf

 

 
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