Home>Industry Update>Company News>Health and Safety Executive bares teeth with increased fines

Health and Safety Executive bares teeth with increased fines

14 October 2016

The news that the production company behind the latest Star Wars film has been fined £1.6million is a reminder to businesses of how damaging health and safety breaches can be, warns Moore Blatch solicitors.

The Star Wars fine comes only two weeks after Merlin Attractions Limited was fined £5m for what was described as a ‘needless and avoidable accident’ on its Smiler roller coaster at Alton Towers.

Since 2015 there has been an increase in the number of fines over £1m with businesses being warned that health and safety breaches could be more heavily fined in future.

Ciaran McCabe, partner at Moore Blatch solicitors said: “Both these well publicised fines are a timely reminder of the importance for business of adhering to health and safety regulations at all times. Not only can breaches be costly, but they can be hugely damaging to a business’s profile when winning new work or recruiting staff.

“This is most evident in the case of Alton Towers, whose operator Merlin Entertainments saw a significant drop in revenues following the accident, with Alton Towers reporting that visitor numbers remain some way below the 2014 level.”

In February 2016 a range of new sentencing guidelines for health and safety breaches came into force meaning companies could face fines of over £10m for the most serious breaches of health and safety legislation.