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  • Christine Mould
  • 3 February 2016
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New H&S sentencing guidelines now in force

As of the 1 February 2016 new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety offences are in force and apply to any case sentenced in courts in England and Wales. The Sentencing Council published these on 3 November 2015 and they addressed the lack of comprehensive guidance for health and safety and corporate manslaughter offences.

These guidelines have been introduced to provide courts with a comprehensive guide to apply to these offences and have introduced a nine step approach for the court to follow in calculating sentences. There are tiered penalties according to the size of the organisations turnover with the offence range being between £180,000 and £20 million, although for very large organisations it may be necessary to move outside the suggested range to achieve a sentence that is proportionate.

Described as the most dramatic change to health and safety legislation since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974, these guidelines highlight the importance of health and safety. This importance must be bought to the attention of directors and senior executives throughout your organisation to ensure they comply with health and safety legislation and ensure they discharge their duty of care towards employees, contractors and members of the public.  The Sentencing Council's full guidelines can be accessed here

International Workplace is a leading health and safety training provider and offers the IOSH accredited Corporate Health and Safety Briefing to help your organisation understand this legislation and what your responsibilities are. This one day course is next being held at our Executive Centre in London on 16 March and 17 May however if you are looking to book six or more places we can provide this as in-house training held at your premises or in one of our training centres based in the UK and internationally.

To view our IOSH Corporate Health and safety briefing click here, book online and save 10%.