Businesses to pay penalties for safety failures
As early as next month, the HSE could start recovering its costs from employers who are found to be breaching health and safety laws. Although the HSE is clear that this does not impose any new requirements on businesses, it has serious financial implications for those companies who are found to have been negligent.
The proposals, which have already been agreed in principle by the government, would mean that from April 2012 the HSE could charge up to £133 per hour for their inspector’s time. This will only apply in cases where a breach is found.
“No areas of industry will be exempted from maintaining good standards of health and safety,” says the Executive, but there will be a particular focus on inspections in high risk sectors.
More than 3,000 construction sites have been visited by the HSE in a crackdown on one of the UK’s most dangerous industries.
According to accident and injury statistics, 2,998 construction workers were seriously injured within a 12 month period in 2010 - 2011. 41 employees were the victim of fatal accidents.
Determined to reduce this figure, the HSE has increased the number of construction site inspections, particularly within the area of refurbishment projects. Refurbishment projects are seen as particularly high risk due to hidden dangers; they are often undertaken by small to medium sized companies, prompting the Red Cross to remind contractors that no matter the size of your business, you make sure that your safety procedures are up-to-date and that, if an accident does happen, you are well equipped to respond.
Free health and safety advice is available from our SME Knowledge Zone and from the Health and Safety Executive website.
Thursday 22nd March 2012 Newsletter
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