HSE new report shows 60% rise in fines for employers

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A new report from the HSE showed that the fines have increased quite significantly over the past year to show a tougher stance on those not taking health and safety at work seriously.


The maximum fine that could be imposed by the lower courts increased four-fold from £5,000 to £20,000.

Magistrates and Sheriffs were also given greater powers to send an offender to prison. In the past custodial sentences were reserved for specific cases, but now someone can be sent to prison for the majority of offences.

  • a greater proportion of cases (86%) were heard in the lower courts after the Act came into force – that compares to 70% in the period leading up to its introduction
  • the average fine imposed by the courts involving breaches of health and safety regulations alone increased by 60%, from £4,577 to £7,310
  • for cases involving breaches of both health and safety regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) the average increase was 25%, from £13,334 to £16,730
  • 346 cases attracted fines of more than £5,000 – prior to the Act the maximum fine that could be imposed was capped at £5,000

Read the full report here