Health and Safety

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Following a post-legislative review, undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the DWP has published its report "Health and Safety Act 2008: Post-legislative scrutiny memorandum 16 January 2014".

This memorandum reviews the objective of the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 as well as sentencing carried out under the Act.

The memorandum includes data and illustrative examples which support the conclusion that there have been increased penalties and a more frequent use of custodial sentences for employers who have committed serious breaches of health and safety regulations and laws.

The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 increased the maximum fine that could be imposed by the lower courts from £5,000 to £20,000, and provided greater custodial sentencing powers.

Key action points:

  • Employers should ensure that they are familiar with and that their systems and processes apply health and safety regulations and laws, and that they are aware of the sentencing powers under the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008.
  • The published Memorandum can be accessed via the Department for Work and Pensions website.