It is hard to believe that over two years has passed since 1 February 2016, when the sentencing guidelines for Health and Safety offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene offences came into force. At that time, they were described by many as the most significant change to health and safety in over 40 years.
The general expectation was that fines and custodial sentences would increase and to a large extent, that reflects our experience. Under this legislation, large businesses in excess of £50 million turnover can face fines of up to £10 million for the most serious health and safety offences and corporate manslaughter fines could reach up to £20 million.
Our Sentencing Tracker provides information on the Health and Safety breaches experienced by businesses' in England and Wales since February 2016, and the associated sentences and fines imposed on them. Reporting across all sectors and company size, the tracker is an effective reference tool and offers valuable insight on the range of sentences imposed. It has already generated the following positive feedback from those regularly using the tracker:
“An outstanding tool for brokers”
“Very useful and helpful to prompt discussion… Being able to inform our clients and prospects the fact that their peer group have been hit with large fines is powerful.”