New guidelines regarding the conviction of those who break health and safety laws came into effect on 1 February 2016.
The penalties for safety violations and for manslaughter at work could be far more punitive and costly, especially for large enterprises. In some cases, the penalties could be ten times greater than they are at present.
The updated rules focus on three key factors for determining penalties: the degree of damage caused, the guilt of the instigator and the revenues of the enterprise charged. They also apply to offences committed prior to 1 February.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC), “The voice of Britain at work”, welcomed these new guidelines, considering that the current rules were by no means dissuasive.