Firms face stiffer penalties for unhygienic and dangerous practices

November 6th, 2015 Category: Commercial

Companies that fail to abide by the strictest standards of cleanliness and hygiene face tougher sanctions for breaching health and safety laws, it has been revealed.

New sentencing guidelines have been published in which company’s turnover, profits and directors’ pay will be taken into account when deciding how much to fine a firm.

Although there are already laws in place which can see an individual jailed if they commit health and safety and food hygiene offences or are convicted of corporate manslaughter, these new laws will see organisations paying much higher charges.

The law is set to target those companies which for example, cause an outbreak of disease or food poisoning due to unsafe practices, or those which cause the death of an employee by not providing the proper equipment for working at height.

Announcing the changes, The Sentencing Council said: "The increase in penalties for serious offending has been introduced because in the past, some offenders did not receive fines that properly reflected the crimes they committed.

"The Council wants fines for these offences to be fair and proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the means of offenders."

These new penalties come in the wake of comprehensive sentencing guidelines covering the most commonly sentenced health and safety offences and food safety offences in England and Wales.

Although the changes will not necessarily result in higher fines being introduced across the board, it will result in stiffer penalties being given in the majority of cases.

The Sentencing Council said that the changes were introduced because in the past there was limited guidance for judges and magistrates in dealing with complex changes.

Furthermore, it said that in the past, some offenders were convicted of offences that did not properly reflect the gravity of the crimes committed.

The Council added: "The Council wants fines for these offences to be fair and proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the means of offenders.

"In order to achieve this, the guidelines set out sentencing ranges that reflect the very different levels of risk of harm that can result from these offences."

The new changes serve as yet another reminder of the importance of maintaining a clean and healthy work environment, with few obstacles in common areas that can potentially cause accidents or injury.

Workplaces that are unclean and and unhygienic can potentially putting the health and wellbeing of workers at risk.

This is why it is essential for firms to invest in professional cleaners that are experienced when it comes to providing these type of services to businesses and organisations.