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Health & Safety Enforcement in Great Britain

Businesses that ignore health and safety laws risk serious repurcussions by the Health and Safety Executive. Prosecution cases instituted by HSE and local authorities can result in fines, imprisonment and even immediate prohibition of the business. The government doesn't take health and safety violations lightly, and you shouldn't either.

94%

of all prosecutions resulted in convictions


Cases for which legal proceedings have been instituted

(Annual average between 2009-2014)

471

91

HSELocal Authority

Type of enforcement notices issued

(Average number of notices each year from 2009-2014)

7,269
Immediate prohibitions

54
Deferred prohibitions

3,305
Improvement notices

Improvement
Deferred Prohibition
Immediate Prohibition

Prosecution & Fines by Industry at a case level

(Annual average from 2009 to 2014)

Agriculture
16 convictions

Construction
166 convictions

Utilities & Waste
22 convictions

Manufacturing
141 convictions

Service Industries
96 convictions


Legislation used by HSE to proceed offences

(2013/14)

General Health & Safety

380

Gas Safety

163

Work at Height

88

Provision of Work Equipment

80

Construction

60

Asbestos

39

Lifting

14

Liability Insurance

11

Vibration at Work

RIDDOR

6

Lead at Work

6

COSHH

5

Dangerous Substances

4

Supply of Machinery

3

Ionising Radiation

3

Confined Spaces

2

Electricity at Work

2

Noise at Work

1

Manual Handling Operations

1

Quarries Work

1

Explosives

1

The specific legislations prosecuted under for each category are listed here. Asbestos: Control of Asbestos Regs 2006, Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 ; Confined Spaces: Confined Spaces Regulations 1997 ; Construction: Construction (Design & Management) Regs 2007 ; Dangerous Substances: Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Reg ; Explosives: Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regs 2005 ; Gas Safety: Gas Safety (Installation & Use) 1998 ; General Health & Safety: Health and Safety At Work Act 1974, Management of H&S at Work Regs 1999, Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations ; Ionising Radiation: Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 ; Lead at Work: Control of Lead at Work Regs 2002 ; Liability Insurance: Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regs, Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance Act 1969 ; Lifting: Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regs ; Manslaughter: Corp Manslaughter & Corp Homicide 2007, Manslaughter ; Manual Handling Operations: Manual Handling Operations Regulations ; Noise at Work: Control of Noise at Work Regs 2005 ; Provision of Work Equipment: Provision and Use of Work Equip Regs 1998 ; Quarries Work: Quarries Regulations 1999 ; RIDDOR: Reporting of Injuries Diseases & Dang Occs (1995) ; Subs Hazard to Health: Control of Subs Hazard to Health (amended)Reg 2002 ; Supply of Machinery: Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 & 2008 ; Vibration at Work: Control of Vibration at Work Regs 2005 ; Work at Height: Work at Height Regs 2005


Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables

In Scotland, the HSE and local authorities investigate potential offences but cannot institute legal proceedings. HSE and local authorities send a report to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). COPFS makes the final decision whether to institute legal proceedings and which offences are taken.