British organisations fined £11m for Health and Safety Breaches

During the first three months of 2021 businesses across Britain have been fined millions of pounds for breaching health and safety law.

Between January and March, British firms, schools and local authorities were successfully prosecuted for a wide range of breaches which in many cases left workers and members of the public with life-changing injuries and in some instances resulted in workplace fatalities.

In total, organisations were fined £11,349,467 and ordered to pay nearly £800,000 in court costs.

In 10 cases, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted company owners and managers for specific breaches. Company bosses carried out more than 600 hours of unpaid work and were ordered to pay more than £52,000 in compensation orders, fines and court costs. In nine of the cases, bosses were also given suspended prison sentences for the failings – the largest of which was a 26-month custodial sentence that was suspended for one year.

At Acorn Safety Services we are well aware that navigating health and safety law can be an absolute nightmare for a lot of firms but we hope these prosecutions show why it’s not worth the risk of turning a blind eye when it come to health and safety.

A quick look through the cases that have been successfully prosecuted so far this year shows how awful the consequences can be. The youngest victim was an 11-year-old child who died when she fell out of a raft on a water ride at a theme park in 2017.

In another tragic incident, a member of the public died six days after she tripped over a small wall and suffered a head injury whilst visiting a school for an evening performance.

The consequences can also be devastating for the organisations involved in the breach. The largest individual fine handed out so far this year was to national gas utility company, National Grid Gas plc. In February, it was fined £4m for failing to ensure its records relating to gas risers in some high-rise multi occupancy buildings were up to date in 2017. This is a particularly big fine but it is not uncommon for organisations to face fines running to tens of thousands of pounds – and even hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Details of such cases are also published by the HSE on its website and by the local and national press and can have a lasting impact on an organisation’s reputation.

These are just some of the reasons our expert team works so hard to remove firms’ health, safety and CDM (Construction Design and Management) problems.

We’re so committed to making sure organisations keep their staff and visitors safe and are able to protect themselves from prosecution that we even offer a FREE health and safety review surgery with our top Health and Safety expert, John Crockett. During the free 30-minute video call with John, organisations get the opportunity to discuss and diagnose any current health and safety compliance issues.

John will also take callers through Acorn Safety Service’s 20-point Health and Safety Compliance Audit which will form the basis of a complimentary compliance report. The report is designed to help organisations identify health and safety areas they are getting right and those where their business could be at risk.

We know that company bosses and managers can feel overwhelmed by what they see as health and safety bureaucracy and red tape. However, owners and managers have a responsibility to ensure their organisations adopt the right precautionary measures to minimise potential risks at their workplaces. The good news is our health and safety consultants are here to guide, assist and coach you every step of the way so that you can be confident you are protecting you, your staff, your visitors and your business.

If you need health and safety advice visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.


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