UK businesses fined £5.5m for health and safety breaches

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has fined UK businesses a collective total of £5.5 million for breaches of health and safety rules.

The staggering total of fines is from the HSE’s ‘Fees for Intervention’ scheme which it launched a year ago, and which makes companies which break health and safety rules liable to pay the organisations costs. These costs include enforcement action, as well as inspections and investigations.

The types of incidents the HSE charged UK businesses more than £5 million in costs for in the last year included everything from inadequate health and safety training and a lack of suitable washing facilities to slips, trips and more serious injuries.

In terms of which sectors received the most fines, the manufacturing industry was top with 38 per cent of the £5.5 million total. Second was the construction industry with 36 per cent, with waste management and agriculture chalking up three and two per cent of the fines respectively.

Wayne Dunning, from the health and safety expert ELAS which revealed the figures, said:

“The truth is that a lot of these fines would be easily avoidable if firms took a few simple steps to boost their in-house health and safety policies. To ensure that your company is complying with correct requirements, it is good practice to have a comprehensive plan in place for dealing with HSE inspections and that staff members know the parts they have to play.”

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