12th January 2023
Largest fine for Health & Safety prosecutions in 2022 tops £3.6million
There were a number of large fines handed out to some household names by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for breaches of UK safety law in 2022.
In August, Dyson received a £1,200,000 penalty after an employee was struck by a large item of machinery.
Also in August, B&M Retail Ltd was fined £1,000,000 when a sub-contract electrician suffered burns to 15% of their body when undertaking remedials at a warehouse.
Sainsbury’s, Network Rail, Carlsberg and Yorkshire Water were all fined seven figure sums in 2022 for various incidents too.
The largest fine of the year however was handed out to a mining company in the North East of England.
Cleveland Potash Ltd (CPL) own a mine in Saltburn-by-the-Sea where two separate incidents in 2016 and 2019 led to sub-contract electricians receiving serious burns when working on or near live equipment.
The two incidents were investigated by the HSE and found CPL had failings in a number of areas including risk assessments, planning of works and warning contractors about which areas of the electrical systems remained live when remedial actions were being conducted.
Upon a guilty plea, CPL received a fine of £3,600,000 and were ordered to pay costs of £185,000.
Upon sentencing, HSE commented that “These serious electrical incidents were easily preventable. CPL should have had a heightened awareness of electrical risks following the first incident in 2016, however failures to apply learnings and to adequately control risks resulted in the 2019 incident”
“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise risks when working on electrical systems. Both these incidents were preventable if long established electrical safety practices been applied.”