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New sentencing guidelines – the fines are rolling in

Oct 16, 2017

We’ve written a couple of times about the new health and safety and corporate manslaughter sentencing guidelines that were introduced just over eighteen months ago. In our previous blogs we’ve talked about the guidelines in relation to fleet drivers and road traffic accidents. While this is an area that has had a lot of attention, due to the numerous court cases arising from accidents on the road, health and safety per se and the implications of not adhering to the guidelines extend much more broadly than this.

Analysis of the first year undertaken by the IOSH and law firm Osborne Clarke revealed there were 19 fines of £1m or more, including three fines in excess of £3m. The largest fine was for £5m, handed down to Merlin Entertainment in 2016 when a roller coaster crashed at Alton Towers, seriously injuring five people. This made national headlines but there are numerous accidents that attract less attention but are equally devastating for those involved.

Take the case of retailer, Iceland, fined £2.5m following the death of a contractor who had a fatal fall in 2013 while working at height at a store in Rotherham. He fell from a plant platform which was missing a handrail. Iceland argued that the contractor should have identified the missing handrail but this was rejected by the court.

Further investigations revealed that Iceland had failed to carry out a risk assessment to consider access to the platform, either by contractors or its own employees.

The HSE has developed a five year strategy for GB’s employers “Helping Great Britain Work Well” and is keen to ensure that all those involved in health and safety compliance are clear about their duties and responsibilities. Both Anthony Jones and our legal partner, DAC Beachcroft, are having an input to ensure that the strategy can be implemented effectively.

Risk management advice is a key part of the service provided by Anthony Jones. Together with DAC Beachcroft, we work closely with all our clients to identify health and safety issues to ensure the safety of all their employees while at work. If you have any concerns about risk management within your own business, please get in touch with our team today. Alternatively, speak to Sally Roff, who is head of Safety Health and Environment at DAC Beachcroft Claims:

Email: sroff@dacbeachcroft.com

Tel: 01633 657780

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