What do new health and safety fines mean? – Ashleigh Mackay and Associates
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Ashleigh Mackay

From February 2016, fines for health and safety (H&S) offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety increased substantially. The increase applies to cases reaching the courts from February 2016, even if the incident that led to the prosecution occurred before that date.

You may not be aware that H&S fines are now based on turnover. For example, a company with a turnover of less than £2m can now face a H&S fine up to £450,000; between £2m and £10m, the fine can be up to £1.6m, and a company with a turnover of £10m- £50m could face a fine up to £4m. So-called ‘very large companies’ will be subject to even higher fines.

If you are part of a bigger group, it is possible that the court could seek to levy a fine based on total group turnover, and thus increase the level of the fine.

These fines are in addition to court legal costs, and there is also potential for individuals to be imprisoned or disqualified as a director. In the event of a corporate manslaughter conviction, the court may require the offending company to publicise the conviction on their website and other literature. Moreover, the conviction would have to be disclosed on procurement tenders.

An alleged breach of duty by a company director could expose them to claims under a Directors & Officers Liability policy, a cover that some may not have seen as necessary.

For more information please contact Ashleigh Mackay & Associates on 01689 861122