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Increased risk of custodial sentence under new health and safety guidelines

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Recent figures have shown that since the introduction of the new health and safety guidelines, not only has there been a large increase in the number and size of fines. But the number of custodial sentences for health and safety offences has also increased dramatically.

Since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work act in 1974 up until January 2016, less than 190 individuals have received and immediate or suspended custodial sentence for health and safety offences, which is an average of under 5 per year.

However recent figures show that between February and September of 2016, 23 individuals have received an immediate or suspended custodial sentence for health and safety offences.

The majority of the offenders sentenced since February received suspended sentences, however six individuals were given immediate prisons sentences.
This increase is believed to be as a result of the guidelines lowering the threshold for custodial sentences.

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