Sentencing guidelines (‘the guidelines’) covering health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences came into force on the 1st February 2016.
On the 4th April 2019 the Sentencing Council published an impact assessment of the result of the guidelines.
Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors reports upon the results in relation to health and safety offences.
Impact on Organisations | Kangs Health & Safety Defence Solicitors
- Fines increased after the guidelines came into force. Previously, around two thirds of organisatons received a fine under £20,000 and only seventeen per cent received a fine in excess of £60,000.
- Subsequently, those percentages changed to thirty-one per cent and fifty-one per cent.
Fine amounts imposed on organisations, 10 months pre-guideline compared with 10 months post-guideline:
- There was a considerable increase in fines for larger organisations, which was anticipated. What was not anticipated was the increase for smaller organisations. Prior to the guidelines the mean fine amount was £40,500 with a median of £12,000. Post guidelines this increased to £221,700 and £60,000 respectively.
Median fine amounts imposed on organisations prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive, 16 months pre-guideline compared with 16 months post-guideline:
Impact On Individuals | Health & Safety Executive Defence Solicitors
- There was an unanticipated increase in higher fines and a change in the use of disposal types.
- There was a nine per cent increase in the issue of suspended sentences of imprisonment in the twelve months period after the guidelines came into force with a decrease in the use of fines.
In relation to fines for individuals, they also increased. The mean increased from £6,300 to £8,200 whilst the median increased from £3,000 to £5,000.
Fine amounts imposed on adult offenders sentenced for Health & Safety offences covered by the guideline, 10 months pre-guideline compared with 10 months post-guideline:
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Health & Safety Solicitors
Early expert, advice and assistance is imperative in matters concerning health & safety in order to protect the business and individuals affected from the outset as far as circumstances permit.
Offences of this nature, if proven, can, as shown above, result in extremely heavy fines, significant reputational damage and custodial sentences.
The team at Kangs Solicitors guides individuals and organisations through the entire process of an investigation/prosecution while maintaining a dialogue with the investigating authorities and safeguarding the interests of our clients at each stage in the procedure.
If you require assistance, we are happy to provide an initial no obligation consultation to explore the issues in your case and to provide an assessment of what we can do to assist you.
Please do not hesitate to contact: