Health and Safety Fines – An Update
In February 2016, the new guidelines from the Sentencing Council came into force. These amendments dramatically increased fines for corporate manslaughter, food safety and hygiene offences, and health and safety offences.
Prior to these dramatic revisions, courts were only able to deliver fines that had negligible effects on offenders. Within the first year, it has become apparent that the new guidelines have been effective, as there were 19 fines of at least £1 million, compared to only three in 2015 and none in 2014, according to HSE data. What’s more, is that the value of the 20 highest fines in 2016 totalled £38.5 million, which was just more than all the 660 total successful prosecutions in 2015-16 (£38.3 million).