The Health and Safety Executive has been recovering its’ costs for carrying out its regulatory functions from duty holders since 2012. The Fee For Intervention Scheme has its’ critics, but in the past few years, we have seen individuals and companies who are in material breach of health and safety law broadly accepting what is akin to a punitive tax on non-compliant businesses.
The 2015 Sentencing Council’s Definitive Guidelines on Health and Safety Offences etc. came into force in England and Wales on 1st February 2016. The 2015 Guidelines extend in their application to non-fatal Health and Safety offences and propose a matrix by which fines are to be calculated.
The Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 and Environmental Regulation (Enforcement Measures) (Scotland) Order 2015 granted SEPA additional powers from 1 June 2016 to issue fixed fines of up to £1000 in relation to suspected environmental offences, with powers to impose variable fines of up to £40,000 expected in late 2016.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 has UK wide application and Scottish courts have for some time had regard to the Definitive Sentencing Guidelines on Corporate Manslaughter and Health and Safety Offences Causing Death (‘the Guidelines’) which apply in England and Wales when sentencing in Scottish cases (see Lord Clarke in Dundee Cold Stores & Others v HMA (2012) HCJAC 102).