Companies fined for health and safety offences

Two recent cases illustrate the large fines that can be imposed on businesses for health and safety breaches:

  • A packaging company has pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £29,511. A 26 year old worker was fatally crushed when his arm was caught in a powered roller while he was clearing sand around the base of an in-feed conveyor at the company’s bagging site.
  • A coachbuilder has pleaded guilty at Trafford magistrates’ court to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £5,890. An employee was pushing wood over a planer when his fingers touched the blades. This caused the amputation of his little finger and injuries to his right hand that later required skin grafts.