In our last Review, we reported on the coming into effect of the new sentencing guidelines for offences relating to health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences. Since then, the new guidelines have been applied to two companies for their health and safety failures. In June 2016 Monavon Construction Limited, a company with a turnover of less than £2m, was fined £550,000 plus costs following the deaths of two men who had fallen through a perimeter roadside hoarding placed around a basement excavation. In July 2016, Tata Steel was fined £1.985m following injuries sustained by two workers which saw them losing fingers. Whilst these injuries are very serious, the level of the fine is a clear indication of how the sentencing guidelines will apply to companies with a large turnover.
Thus far we are not aware of any claims against directors but it is clear that the levels of fines should be a wakeup call to directors to ensure compliance with health and safety laws for the safety of their employees and others.