According to a recent study by Arinite Health & Safety, the cost of health and safety fines in 2016 far outstripped the cost of compliance. The study found that the average fine for breaches of health & safety in 2016 was £115,440.
Obviously, the value range of these fines was wide, as was the range of industry sectors. Of all fines issued, half of them were for the manufacturing industry. Total value of all fines across the UK was £32,438,677.
To put this into perspective, according to the report, the cost of health and safety compliance for SMEs in 2016 was between £5,000 and £40,000. It could be argued therefore, that SMEs investing in health and safety potentially avoided a fine of £75,000 higher than the cost of compliance. According to the HSE’s own research, SMEs can expect to pay no more than £40,000 per year to remain compliant. Obviously the larger the business the higher the cost of compliance but the costs of non-compliance are also higher when the New Sentencing Guidelines are taken into account. However, the New Sentencing Guidelines are only partly responsible for the size of fines growing steadily over the past few years. The largest fines handed to businesses in 2016 were three times higher than the previous year and eight times higher than in 2014. Having the correct health and safety procedures in place, for example for risk assessment, near-miss reporting and equipment safety inspections can go a long way towards reducing the possibility of an accident or fine. Many organisations may have previously felt that the cost of health and safety compliance was prohibitive but as this latest study shows it’s certainly not as costly as the fines.
Source: Arinite Health & Safety. Click here for the full article