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 during 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 businesses 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 £50m could now top £10m for health and safety offences, and £20m for corporate manslaughter, the BBC reported.
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 £5m fine that injured 16 people on the rollercoaster, some of them with life-changing injuries. The business in question would have been seen the level of fine imposed, increased by £2.5 Million if they hadn’t have pleaded guilty.
There were 292 fines issued last year, which marked an overall increase. By the nature of the work undertaken and the level of risk that some sectors face, when undertaken there core business, tends to heavily weight statistics towards certain sectors, however with the construction sector received the most fines followed by manufacturing, leisure, logistics and transport, industrials and the public sector.