Spike in fines to encourage tighter safety procedures

This article was published on: 05/15/17

In the last year, fines for companies breaching health and safety laws have risen. As a result there has been a spike in amounts paid by companies. Overall fines tripled from 2015 with £61 million paid in 2016. That sum paid out from a total of 292 fines issued.

Injury criteria

The judgement criteria were changed as part of the process, with companies now assessed on a variety of criteria including:

  • The size of the business
  • The extent of the injury
  • The potential for injury during “near miss” incidents

One of the hardest hit industries (as expected) was the construction industry. With so many high risks it is hard to prevent all hazards (particularly human error). Because of the criteria, a number of fines in that sector exceeded £1 million.

The largest fine paid was by Merlin Entertainment. The fine related to the tragic Smiler incident in which a number of guests required amputations. The fine could have reached £7.5 million had they pleaded not guilty. Instead, they were ordered to pay £5 million.

Harsh but fair

The first year after the changes, it is expected that total fines would rise dramatically (proven true). The overall aim of the increase is to encourage as much effort as possible to reduce accidents (and fines). The fines are expensive but also in proportion to the severity and size of the company responsible.

In general larger companies will carry more risk. They employ more staff, own larger premises and have more scope in their operations. With this requires more responsibility to keep staff and the public safe. Hopefully with the new fines in place companies will take necessary precautions to better protect everybody involved.

Helping the injured

While fining companies may send a guaranteed message, the remaining question is “What about me?” Thankfully, if you have been injured you can ensure you are looked after. Scott Rees & Co is here to fight for your recovery alongside the fines.

If you, a friend or family member has suffered an injury at work or out and about then you are fully entitled to claim for your injuries to protect you during your recovery period. From minor slips to major incidents, injuries cost time, money and can take mental tolls.

If you would like to speak to an adviser for free, impartial, conscientious advice, call Scott Rees & Co on 01695 722 222. Lines are open weekdays from 9am to 7pm.  Alternatively you can also get in touch online using our online claim form here.

For the very best in personal injury services, call Scott Rees & Co to see how we can help you. We have a network of specialists to help recover from any injury type minor to catastrophic. Call today to speak to us.


  1. Emir Krasnic; Pixabay.com; https://pixabay.com/en/master-worker-grinder-tool-tools-2223965/
  2. Tama66; Pixabay.com; https://pixabay.com/en/hook-crane-close-detail-used-last-1943675/