The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008, which came into force on the 16th January 2009, does not create new offences relating to breaches in health and safety law; rather, it raises the maximum penalties available to the courts.
The act focuses on increasing the maximum penalties for significant breaches of health and safety regulations, such as:
- disregard for the recommendations of health and safety regulations and officials;
- repeated breaches of health and safety law, posing significant risk to employees and/or members of the public;
- serious neglect;
- providing false information;
The courts are now able to impose a prison sentence of up to 12 months. The maximum fine for health and safety infractions has increased from £5,000 to £20,000.
If you are concerned that your business may be operating in violation of health and safety legislation making you liable for prosecution, the solicitors at Farleys can provide you with advice and guidance that will ensure you and your business adhere to existing laws.