Request A Quote

News Post

04/02/2016

February 2016 – Health and Safety New Sentencing Guidelines – Dramatic Changes

“The most dramatic changes in Health and Safety/Food Safety offence sentencing levels in recent years’’

The Sentencing Guidelines for ‘Health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences’ Council have now been published. They will have a significant impact on the sentencing of offences when they come into force next week on 1 February 2016 and will apply to any case heard on or after that date, irrespective of when the offence occurred.
The definitive Guidelines do not differ significantly to those put out for Consultation earlier this year. The key changes for health and safety offences for both organisations and individuals, as well as corporate manslaughter, are as follows:

• Inclusion of targeting vulnerable victims as an aggravating feature.
• Greater emphasis has been placed on the importance of remediation as a means of mitigation.
• The measures of culpability for individuals for health and safety offences have been changed to mirror those of organisations.
• Greater clarity that all organisations when sentenced for corporate manslaughter or health and safety offences will have consideration given to the wider impact of any fine on the organisation or  innocent third parties.

The key changes for food safety offences are:

• The most serious level of harm has been broadened to include not only where there has been a serious adverse effect on individuals but also where there is a high risk of an adverse effect.
• Harm now includes where a consumer has been misled regarding a food’s compliance with religious or personal beliefs.
• Factors relevant for mitigation have been reduced.

Health and safety offences – Organisations

The Guidelines are based on the concept that ‘culpability’ and ‘harm’ are used to determine the level of fine, cross-referenced against the size of the Defendant organisation.
The measure of ‘culpability’ varies from ‘low’, where failings are minor and not systemic, to ‘very high’, where there has been a deliberate breach or flagrant disregard for the law. The level of ‘harm’ is based upon the risk of harm created by the offence, which is then exacerbated if actual harm has occurred.
Once the ‘culpability’ and ‘harm’ categories are established, the turnover of the organisation will be used to allocate a particular sentencing matrix. There are different matrices depending on the size of the organisation:

• Micro – Turnover not more than £2 million
• Small – Turnover between £2 and £10 million
• Medium – Turnover between £10 and £50 million
• Large – Turnover over £50 million

Our Blog

Latest News

Fine after employees exposed to chemical spill

Nasmyth Technologies Limited has been fined after four employees were exposed to hazardous substances that caused significant ill health and time off work. On 9 October 2017, between 150 and 200 litres of a chemical preparation, that included hydr..

HSE Orders Dissolved Roofing Company to be restored ahead of £160k fine

The Health and Safety Executive has ordered the restoration of a roofing contractor to the Companies House register ahead of a court hearing which saw the firm fined £160,000 following a fatal fall. Basildon Crown Court heard how on 25 Feb..

PUB BOSS LANDS SUSPENDED SENTENCE OVER UNSAFE PLAY EQUIPMENT

A publican has been handed a suspended prison sentence after a boy sustained head injuries when he fell from an inflatable slide (pictured above). Andrew Rockliffe ran the Bristol Inn in Clevedon, North Somerset, from February 2016 and in that yea..

FOOD WAREHOUSE IGNORED IMPROVEMENT NOTICES

A food supplier has been prosecuted by Birmingham City Council after an inspector saw an employee raised up on a pallet balanced on a forklift truck. On 5 December 2018 an officer visited Pearl Food Distribution and served a number of im..

HSE NAMES HEAD OF BUILDING SAFETY REGULATOR

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced who will lead the newly established Building Safety Regulator. Peter Baker, the HSE’s current director of building safety and construction, has taken up the post with..

Bristol Microbrewery fined for fire safety breach

A Bristol-based microbrewery has been fined £120,000 after admitting its failure to comply with fire safety laws resulted in a 2018 fire. Brewhouse and Kitchen pleaded guilty in February to four breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety..

COVID 19 Hospitality Risk Assessment

COVID 19 Hospitality Risk Assessment now available To assist hospitality settings return to work as quickly as possible, SMSE are offering a FREE COVID19 Hospitality Risk Assessment template for hospitality businesses, such as hotels, restaur..

COVID 19 Risk Assessment

COVID 19 Risk Assessment SMSE are offering a free COVID19 Risk Assessment for businesses that can be used for businesses to identify controls and help them return to work in the coming weeks. We have produced an example COVID19 risk a..

HSE guidance on First aid cover and qualifications during the coronavirus outbreak

What you need to know First aid cover and qualifications during the coronavirus outbreak If first aid cover for your business is reduced because of coronavirus or you can’t get the first aid training you need, there are some things you ca..

Revised HSE guidance on RIDDOR reporting in relation to COVID19

The Health & Safety Executive has published revised guidance on RIDDOR reporting and First Aid in relation to COVID19.   What you need to know RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19 You must only make a report under RIDDOR (..

HSE updates guidance on welding fume

Welding Fume Safety HSE has updated its guidance on welding following the Safety alert earlier in the year. If welding is part of your work activity, you must carry out a risk assessment to identify what measures are required to control the risks ..

Brexit Health and Safety

Brexit- Health and Safety The Health and Safety Executive has issued guidance on Health and Safety after Brexit.  Your duties to protect the health and safety of people affected by your work will not change with Brexit. The HSE guidan..