Ben Mills prosecuted this case on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive. Fines of £1,315,000 and £185,000 were imposed following Tata Steel UK’s guilty pleas to two health and safety offences arising from separate incidents in which employees caught their hands in dangerous machinery. The judgment provides clear guidance on how the court can approach the sentencing of a very large organisation and when a parent company’s financial support can be taken into account in determining the appropriate level of fine under the new Sentencing Guidelines for Health and Safety Offences. In this case the Court considered that the judge had been amply entitled to do so.
The level of fines imposed also supports the view that the Sentencing Guidelines mark a new dawn in the approach the courts will take and that a prevailing consideration will be to ensure that fines are substantial enough to bring home to management and shareholders the need to comply with health and safety legislation.
Written by Alan Durham
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