Britain Raises Penalties for Most OSH Violations

A new law, the Health and Safety Offences Act 2008, took effect Jan. 16 in Great Britain. Not only does it raise the maximum fine that lower courts can impose for most safety and health offenses to £20,000 (about $29,000 in U.S. dollars), but also it makes jail time a possibility for more offenses in both lower and higher courts, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

Judith Hackitt, chair of HSE, said she welcomes the change. "This act gives lower courts the power to impose higher fines for some health and safety offences. It is right that there should be a real deterrent to those businesses and individuals that do not take their health and safety responsibilities seriously. Everyone has the right to work in an environment where risks to their health and safety are properly managed, and employers have a duty in law to deliver this," Hackitt said in a released posted by her agency. "Our message to the many employers who do manage health and safety well is that they have nothing to fear from this change in law. There are no new duties on employers or businesses, and HSE is not changing its approach to how it enforces health and safety law. We will retain the important safeguards that ensure that our inspectors use their powers sensibly and proportionately. We will continue to target those who knowingly cut corners, put lives at risk and who gain commercial advantage over competitors by failing to comply with the law."

The penalties are not retroactive, applying to violations occurring from Jan. 16 onward. Britain's Parliament passed the act in October 2008, and it received Royal Assent on Oct. 16. The act's full text is available at this site.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022

    Featuring:

    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
    • MACHINE GUARDING
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
    • EHS SOFTWARE
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue