court hammer

As previously highlighted in the November 2015 issue of our newswire, the sentencing guidelines came into force on 1st February, and will apply to any case sentenced in courts in England and Wales from now on.

It will give judges a framework of tiered penalties for different sizes of organisation, level of harm risked and culpability.

The new guidance, Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guideline, issued by the Sentencing Council has been extended to all health and safety offences -previously the guidance just covered fatalities.

The guidance has been modelled on the sentencing guideline for environmental offences, which was introduced in July 2014. This means that large companies could face fines of over £10 million for the most serious health and safety offences and more than £20 million for corporate manslaughter convictions.

Full details of the definitive guideline can be found on the Sentencing Council website.