Case Study

Increased sentencing continues

As detailed in our Motor Safety Business Bulletin, recent Sentencing Guidelines for Health and Safety and Corporate Manslaughter have come into force and fines upwards of £1 million are becoming the norm for organisations that fail to create safe working practices.

In 2017/18 the largest single fine was £3m, and a total of 45 cases received fines over £500,000. Additionally, the average level of fine has risen to £147,000 per conviction. Fines remain the most common penalty following a conviction, with the use of immediate custodial sentences rising to 7% of cases.

Notable fines from 2018:

  • Glynwed Pipe Systems fined £1m after a delivery driver was struck and killed by a forklift truck
  • Tesco fined £1.6m following life-changing injuries caused to a tradesman who was crushed by a Tesco lorry that was reversing unassisted into a loading bay
  • Stagecoach Group fined £2.3m after failings in driver supervision led to a bus crashing into a Sainsbury's store, killing a pedestrian and passenger.

Increased penalties and tougher legislation for neglecting to put plans in place that help protect your employee's wellbeing when operating vehicles emphasises that it is more important than ever to create a positive health and safety focused culture at work. Risk assessments and method statements need to be adequate, enforced and followed by everyone.