Sentencing Guidelines Increase Fines on Organisations for Safety Failings

30 March 2017

On 1 February 2016, the Sentencing Council’s Definitive Guideline for Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences (more commonly referred to in the OSH world as the sentencing guidelines) came into force in England and Wales.

A year on from this, the 20 largest fines imposed on businesses for safety and health offences last year totalled £38.6m, compared with £13.5m in 2015 and £4.3m in 2014.

Since 1 February 2016, when the Sentencing Council’s Definitive Guideline for Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences came in to force, there have been 19 fines of £1m or more. In 2015 there were just three fines that exceeded £1m and in 2014 there were none.

Not all fines in the 2016 top 20 involved a fatality. The guidelines state that a large fine can also be handed down in the event of an injury, or if there was a substantial risk of injury or death.

How the guidelines work

Using the new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences, a court applies a formula to set the penalty, first deciding whether the defendant’s culpability was very high, high, medium or low. The next factor is a matrix of likelihood the safety failing would lead to harm and how bad that harm could have been – from minor injuries to lifelong disability or death. The judge must also consider how many people were exposed to the risk of harm and whether the safety failing was a significant cause of actual harm before setting a final harm rating.

The harm rating and culpability assessment is then applied to a series of tables with fine ranges for organisations with different levels of annual turnover. The ranges are as follows:

  • micro-organisations (turnover less than £2m): £50 to £450,000
  • small organisations (turnover between £2m and £10m): £100 to £1.6m
  • medium organisations (turnover between £10m and £50m): £1,000 to £4m
  • large organisations (turnover £50m and above) £3,000 to £10m

For each harm category at each culpability level there is a suggested “starting point” fine, ranging from £200 for low culpability, harm level 4, for a micro-organisation, to £4m for a large organisation with very high culpability and harm level 1. Judges can move below these starting points for mitigating circumstances, such as a good safety record and early guilty pleas. Aggravating factors, such as obstructing an investigation or cost-cutting at the expense of safety, will push the penalty up the scale from the starting point.

Refer to


CDM 2015 Regulations

23 March 2015

The new CDM 2015 Regulations come into force on 6th April 2015 replacing the current CDM 2007 Regulations.

The main changes are:

  • Creation of a new role of Principal Designer – this will replace the current role of CDM Coordinator. The Principal Designer will be responsible for planning, managing and coordinating health and safety during the pre-construction phase of the project and also the preparation of the Health and Safety File. Our new Principal Designer assessment criteria will be finalised shortly.
  • For the first time the CDM regulations will apply to domestic client projects, e.g. homeowners arranging construction work on their own properties.
  • The Regulations have specifically removed the competency requirement and replaced this with the requirement for ‘skills, knowledge and experience’, or if they are an organisation, ‘the organisational capability’. The HSE fully endorses the use of pre-qualification assessments by SSIP Forum member schemes as a sufficient way of assessing organisational capability. SSIP assessments are all judged on the core criteria approved by HSE.

There will a transitional period of six months to cover projects already underway on 6th April 2015 to allow for a smooth transition between the existing and the new regulations. For more information refer to http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/cdm-guidance-documents/ and http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l153.htm


CDM Competent Assessment Costs

10 February 2014

From 10th February 2014 the costs of assessments will increase slightly to cover the additional work that an ever more comprehensive assessment process entails, adding just £10 to initial contractor assessments and design practice assessments. Annual renewals and mutual recognitions will also increase by just £10.

For further information on the CDM Competent Scheme and the benefits of membership of SSIP please refer to the website http://www.ssipassessors.com/


HSE Accident Statistics 2012/13

02 January 2014

The latest annual health and safety statistics have been released by HSE. Fatalities are almost half the level they were some 20 years ago. Great Britain's health and safety performance is better than many European countries including Germany, France, Italy and Spain. This indicates that stronger safety regulations have had a positive effect.

The statistics show that working in the construction industry continues to be a high-risk occupation where 39 employees were killed at work in the last year. However, this number is down 19 % on last year's figure of 48. Non-fatal major injuries were most commonly as a result of slips, trips and falls from height.

Work related diseases resulted in 12,000 deaths of which the most common are asbestos-related cancers and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases related to gases, dust and fumes at work. These deaths are as a result of past exposures at work as the symptoms of these diseases take many years to develop.

For further information please visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/index.htm?ebul=gd-cons/nov13&cr=1


CDM Competent Assessment Fee increase

29 January 2013

As members of the SSIP Forum, we have been carrying out more mutual recognitions over the last 12 months. Eurosafe UK embraces the ethos of SSIP and the deem to satisfy agreement which provides cost and time savings to the suppliers that we accredit in this manner. Since its launch in 2009, the number of SSIP Registered Members has rapidly increased to the current number of 36. Consequently we are dealing with a wider array of pre-qualification schemes which results in additional administration time verifying details, accreditation expiry dates and other information.

In order to accommodate the rising costs we are experiencing we intend to increase the fee for mutual recognitions from £55 to £65 with effect from 1st March 2013.

If you wish to know more about the benefits of the Eurosafe CDM Competent Scheme or benefits from our membership of SSIP see the following http://www.ssipassessors.com/. If you wish to join the CDM Competent Scheme please follow http://www.ssipassessors.com/Submissions/Request


CDM 2007 Regulations Review - Update

22 January 2013

The Health and Safety Executive's proposed changes to the CDM Regulations were due to be placed before the HSE Board in December 2012 however delays in preparing the draft regulations has resulted in the HSE confirming that they will not now go to their February Board meeting and will only be presented to the HSE Board for consideration in March 2013 at the very earliest.


CDM Competent Assessment Costs

07 November 2011

Since it's launch in 2007 CDM Competent has developed into an industry recognised contractor pre-qualification scheme and following gaining membership of the Safety Schemes in Procurement forum (SSIP) in 2009 has continued to grow and in doing so has helped to improve health and safety standards of contractors within the construction industry and provided clients with assurance that they are meeting their obligations under the CDM Regulations in relation to the appointment of competent contractors.

In December 2011 the costs of assessments will increase slightly to cover the additional work that an ever more comprehensive assessment process entails adding just £35 to a large contractor initial assessment and only £15 to a small design practice assessment. All new assessments and annual renewals from the 12th December 2011 will be charged under the new fee structure and suppliers advised accordingly at the point of application or renewal from this date.

For further information on the CDM Competent scheme and the benefits of membership of SSIP please refer to the website http://www.ssipassessors.com/

Eurosafe UK CDM Competent Scheme Fee Schedule


SSIP Newsletter - May 2010

04 May 2010

The SSIP newsletter for May 2010 is now available for download here.


Eurosafe UK Joins the SSIP Forum

24 November 2009

SSIP Forum Logo

Eurosafe UK are proud to announce that we have become an accredited member of the Safety Schemes in Procurement Forum (http://www.ssip.org.uk).

SSIP has been established to enable mutual recognition between various health and safety assessment schemes. This means that if a supplier of services has been successfully assessed by a member of the SSIP Forum then that assessment may be mutually recognised by the other members of the Forum.

Eurosafe UK's CDM Competent scheme is fully accredited with the SSIP, and provides numerous benefits to both clients and suppliers:

  • A detailed audit trail that evidences that the health and safety arrangements of contractors and consultants
  • A reduced level of risk achieved by using accredited contractors and consultants
  • Time and cost savings by using a third party assessor
  • The HSE support of the SSIP Forum and recognise its assessment criteria
  • 24/7 web based access to approved supplier lists
  • Automated annual renewal procedures for suppliers