Vol. 1, Issue 14 (Dec 01) Fines in the Workplace

In general – if you are brought to justice in the United Kingdom Courts of Law for failings under Sections 2 to 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 and/or failing under a regulation made under the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974.

The fines – can be on summary conviction in a local Magistrates Courts for you and/or your organisation, be up to £20,000 for each offence you are found guilty of.

There are other areas such as failures under discharging a duty under Section 2 to 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 of contravening a requirement imposed by a health and safety inspector (Health and Safety Executive or Environmental Health Officer) on summary conviction a fine not exceeding level 5 of the standard scale.

However, it is possible that an offence is of such a serious nature that the offence is to be tried in a higher Court of Law e.g. Crown Court-in front of judge and jury. The fines handed down by these Courts can be unlimited and can issue a term of imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or even both.

There has been comments in the News papers and other publications about the potential offence of “Corporate Manslaughter”.

This has been subject to comment by many and various interested parties (Trade Unions and the CBI) and in response to a consultative document (CD) issued by the “Health and Safety Commission”. The comments are now being considered by the “health and Safety Commission” and the “Home Office”

It is difficult to comment on such legal issues without the input by your chosen legal team.

However it is safe to say that many Courts of Law are issuing fines based on annual profits or the projected annual profits.

Other Costs.

The above generally represents criminal liability, further costs are possibly and likely to include civil claims brought about after the case has been heard. Now days with the growth of legal representation using “no win no fee” litigation, other costs are resulting in claims running into the hundreds of thousands.

This has the effect of increasing your direct insurance costs. This does not take into account other hidden costs such as accident investigations, loss of production, penalty costs, un-insurable costs, time spent in Court, poor publicity etc.

Health and Safety Training.

Are you aware that it is a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 Section 2 2 that you have to provide information, instruction and training as is necessary to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of employees.

Were you aware that “Grove Services (UK) Limited” can provide health and safety training for all levels of staff from senior executives and Directors to all levels of employees.

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 news