Construction firms fined £8 million since new February guidelines

Since the new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences came into force in February of this year, 38 per cent of the 101 fines issued have gone to construction firms, according to BLM, a global insurance law firm. Under the new guidelines, the value of a fine is determined by a firm’s annual turnover and the severity of the offence. 

While the majority of the fines received by construction firms have been relatively light—averaging just under £70,000—the combined value of the three highest fines is £5.6 million, which brings the total fine amount for the sector to almost £8 million. In addition, the legal costs attached to these fines are equally substantial, with prosecution costs reaching more than £530,000.

There is a certain degree of risk associated with the work that construction firms handle, which may explain the disproportionately high amount of fines levied against the sector. In fact, there were 65,000 self-reported non-fatal workplace injuries and 35 deaths reported in 2014/15. 

With potential fines ranging from just £50 to as much as £10 million depending on the offence, these statistics show that it is crucial that you take the necessary precautions to ensure that both your workers and those around your construction sites are safe. In order to help your firm strengthen its health and safety practices, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has released two beneficial resources:

  • CDM Wizard is a free app that can provide you with guidance and advice, as well as alert you to significant construction risks.
  • CDM industry guidance is a collection of guides that offer practical, straightforward instructions on how to comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.