Tougher penalties imposed for health and safety breaches

16 January 2009 by
Tougher penalties imposed for health and safety breaches

Hospitality employers that flout health & safety legislation face fines of up to £20,000 and the risk of 12 months in prison from today after tougher new laws came into force.

Under the Health & Safety (Offences) Act 2008, which updates the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974), the maximum penalty for offences has increased from £5,000 to £20,000.

And when individuals are prosecuted, the added penalty of up to 12 months in prison has been added to the legislation.

Graeme Cushion, head of regulatory crime at solicitor Poppleston Allen, said hospitality employers should take a look at their processes.

"Local authorities are being encouraged to take more action against offenders, as currently, some carry out very little enforcement activity," he said.

"This factor, combined with the higher penalties, means that it is a good time to review your systems."

Ray Hurst, immediate past president at Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, welcomed the tougher laws.

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By Daniel Thomas

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