Health & Safety prosecutions rise by nearly 50% in Scotland

03 November 2015

New figures released show that prosecutions for death and injuries at work has nearly doubled within twelve months. Within the annual Health & Safety Statistics report that has been recently released it shows that the Crown Office prosecuted 72 cases within the Scottish courts which is a 49% rise on the previous year as well as 97% successful conviction rate.

These figures demonstrate that the authorities are clamping down on lapsed safety measures within businesses around the Scotland and could signal a further increase in such actions and demonstrates the Crown Office commitment to reducing workplace accidents.

It is important that all organisations take note and if Health & Safety is not on the top of the management’s agenda then it should be addressed as soon as possible especially as the introduction of new sentencing guidelines in England and Wales could have an impact on Scotland. These guidelines are expected in early 2016 and are set to increase penalties to a maximum of £20 million for corporate manslaughter cases.

In the last year there have been a number of high profile cases in Scotland which has led to heavy fines for organisations.

Our Health & Safety expert Gary Sullivan advises,

“It is imperative that all businesses look carefully at their Health & Safety policies and procedures in order to protect their staff from injury and themselves from possible litigation.

With added scrutiny on businesses coming from government bodies it is important that organisation comply with all health and safety guidance and ensure that workforce engagement with company policies and procedures is a high priority.

Organisations should ignore their health and safety at their peril.”

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