Safety fines set to dramatically increase

In November 2015 we expect the final revised guidelines for fines for health and safety and food safety offences to be released. These guidelines will see fines for all businesses, but particularly those with a turnover greater than £50m, skyrocket.

As published in Hotel Business Magazine 3 September 2015

For a low risk business like a hotel you may be forgiven for wondering why a change in approach for health and safety sentencing might be important.  However, with fines in the millions of pounds being a very realistic possibility for offences, that under the current regime would receive a fine under £100,000, the incentive to keep safety compliance is at the top of your agenda has never been so great.

Health and safety proposals

There are nine stages to the sentencing process which taken into account the company’s size and its ability to pay. There are many issues with these changes but the fine levels will have the greatest impact.

Fine levels are determined against a matrix that set out four levels of culpability (from low to very high) and four harm categories within each culpability level (from one to four).  For businesses with a turnover greater than £50m, a medium culpability offence at the lowest harm category will result in a fine starting at £130,000 increasing to a starting point of £1.3m at the highest medium culpability harm category.

Read the full article in Hotel Business Magazine »

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

Dominic Watkins

Partner - Head of Food Group

I am Head of DWF’s internationally renowned food sector group as well as being Head of Regulatory in London.