Tag Archives: regulations

New H&S Sentencing Guidelines – Are you ready?

New Sentencing Guidelines come into effect in February 2016. Is your business ready?

The Sentencing Council’s new guidelines aim to ensure a consistent approach to health and safety, corporate manslaughter, and food safety and hygiene cases, and will lead to a more severe response to these cases, and potentially higher fines.

Company directors who are found guilty of “consent, connivance or neglect” in relation to an offence could face unlimited fines, as well as up to 2 years in prison.

Serious health and safety breaches could result in fines exceeding £10million, and corporate manslaughter cases could exceed £20million. 

Different fine ranges will apply depending on the size of the organisation. However it’s entirely possible that the fines could be of sufficient size to put a company out of business, which may be decided to be an acceptable consequence, if the offence is severe enough.

When a fine is being decided, the court will consider the overall seriousness of the offence based on the offender’s culpability and the risk of serious harm, even if no harm was actually caused. They will also take into account various factors including, amongst others, whether the business has:

  • any previous convictions
  • taken action to improve the situation
  • co-operated with the investigation
  • a history of relevant offences
  • committed the offence for the purpose of financial gain.

It is clear that the regulatory authorities expect companies to take positive action, and really prioritise health and safety issues. And although the guidelines will apply only to England and Wales, health and safety law is generally consistent across the UK, so it’s likely that Scotland will follow suit and implement tougher fines.

This news is a timely reminder to ensure that your business is compliant with all the relevant Health and Safety legislation, and that your H&S management systems are truly effective. Taking action now could protect the financial standing of your business.

To find out more about how we can help, call us on 0141 244 0181 or e-mail info@amalgamate-safety.com

CDM 2015 – Are you prepared for the proposed changes?

As many of you will be aware, there are changes being proposed to the Construction (Design and Design) Management Regulations in 2015. These significant changes to CDM will have implications to those involved in the design process and will affect how you are currently managing projects.

The proposed changes include the removal of the CDM Coordinator role and the introduction of ‘Principal Designers’, which will see a shift in duty and responsibility for the following areas:

  • assisting the client in identifying, obtaining and collating pre-construction information;
  • providing pre-construction information to designers, principal contractor and contractors;
  • ensuring that designers comply with their duties and co-operate with each other;
  • liaising with the principal contractor for the duration of the appointment, and
  • preparing the health and safety file.

As the industry starts to prepare, draft industry guidance has been issued by both the CITB and the HSE on the proposed ‘Principal Designers’ role. This is obviously subject to change but should provide you with an insight on those new requirements.

If you require CDM 2015 systems development, training or delivery support please do not hesitate to give us a call on +44 (0)141 244 0181.