Emergency response planning should be a high priority and form an integral part of any health and safety procedures, as recently introduced regulations may result in an increase in the number of fines imposed for breaches.
Introduced in 2016, the impact of this legislation has been far reaching with fines handed out for health and safety breaches now being proportionate to the size of the business, emphasising that larger companies could end up paying out larger sums than ever before.
The total cost of fines paid over the past year increased sharply, as businesses face not only a new system for deciding the level of the fine, but new rules regarding food health and safety as well as corporate manslaughter.
Fines for businesses with a turnover exceeding £50 million could now top £10 million for health and safety offences, and £20 million for corporate manslaughter, the BBC reports.
The average cost of a fine rose from £69,500 to £211,000 and more than £61m was paid out in total, representing a 148 per cent rise since 2015.
It is important to note that one of those fines was the well-publicised roller coaster incident involving a theme park. This single incident resulted in a £5 million, after 16 people were injured on the rollercoaster, some of them left with life-changing injuries. The business in question would have seen the level of fine imposed increase by £2.5 million if they hadn’t have pleaded guilty.
There were 292 fines issued last year, which marked an overall increase. By sector, construction companies received the most fines followed by manufacturing, leisure, logistics and transport, industrials and the public sector.