- There have been more £1m+ fines in the past 12 months than in the previous 20 years combined
- Average fine per offence has increased 102% according to last year’s HSE report covering the year to April, with this figure set to rise once a full year’s data is available
- The largest fine for a breach of health and safety imposed in the year was £5m
- The Guideline coincides with increased sentencing powers for Magistrates’ Courts, which are now able to impose unlimited fines (imposing a £1m penalty in one recent case)
- 95% of health and safety cases prosecuted result in convictions while 84% of HSE initiated cases carry a financial penalty – according to last year’s HSE report covering the year to end of March
- Cases against directors have tripled in the year to 31 March with 46 cases. Just one employee was prosecuted in that period.
Sadly there are no Super-Heroes coming to take this threat away, it’s down to the business owners and directors to make sure they’re playing the game.
What is difficult to believe is the sheer volume of time and paperwork that goes into running a thorough H&S system, and yet mostly they seem so out-of-date that it’s hardly surprising accidents happen, and less surprising they don’t get reported.
There’s plenty of H&S software out there designed to make everybody’s life easier, but why is there so few companies actually using it?
Is it too difficult to implement? Is there too much data that can’t be transferred? Is it simply the sheer hassle factor of moving from one system to another? Or do H&S budgets not account for updates to the system?
What is blatantly obvious is that H&S is getting tighter, yet systems to manage this growing threat are not developing quickly enough to cope.
Health & Safety seems to have been pushed to the back of the queue as far as investing in better systems is concerned.
Maybe another tough year of increased fines and prosecutions and injuries and deaths might help people wake up to this massive shortfall.