Health & safety violations – increase in penalties

A leading Insurer has warned that new legislation will significantly increase the penalties available for Health & Safety (H&S) offences. The Health & Safety Offences Act 2008 comes into force in January 2009 and will raise the maximum fines that can be imposed in Lower Courts for violations from £5,000 to £20,000.

Businesses have been advised to check their H&S policies and practices in the light of the new legislation and should ensure that there are appropriate and robust mechanisms in place to keep people in their organisations healthy and safe at work and to protect them and their management from both civil claims and criminal prosecutions.