Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
We strongly recommend viewing Cleanzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Pallet Trucks UK puts safety first as harsher penalties are introduced for health & safety breaches
Pallet Trucks UK is urging businesses to put safety first, as the Sentencing Council launches new guidelines that could see harsher penalties for the most serious health & safety offences.
The suggested fines in the new document could hit heights of £20m for corporate manslaughter offences and £10m for the most serious health & safety offences.
The aim is for the fine to have a substantial economic impact on offending businesses - enough of an impact to ensure that they think twice about health & safety compliance in the future.
As a supplier of handling and lifting solutions, Pallet Trucks UK is no stranger to health & safety issues. The company regularly issues guidance and helpful information on operating its equipment safely, while the Midlands warehouse itself, where the products are stored, conforms to the highest safety standards.
"The Sentencing Council's new guidelines of health & safety punishments send a strong message to UK businesses - that the health & safety of employees should be taken incredibly seriously," warns Phil Chesworth, managing director of Pallet Trucks UK. "Businesses have an obligation to provide a safe and secure environment for their workers to operate in, as well as equipping them with properly maintained apparatus that is suitable for the work they're doing. Any business found to be in breach of these obligations - especially if they've caused serious injury, or even death - should rightly be subjected to harsh punishment.
"Here at Pallet Trucks UK, many of the products we sell don't require any particular qualifications or skills to operate, but we strive to educate our clients on health & safety matters that can arise as a result of equipment misuse. We'll continue to put out helpful content that will encourage businesses to put safety first and avoid not only hefty fines, but serious injuries to members of their workforce."
One of the most significant changes in the biggest health & safety shake-up since the 1970s is the fact that health & safety offences will now be judged on exposure to risk, rather than the outcome of such risk. For example, a company that exposes an employee to a high risk of death would warrant almost the same sentence, regardless of whether there were any fatalities of injuries.
The threshold for imprisonment will also fall, putting staff at all levels in the firing line. If anyone, from employee up to director, knows there is a breach of the law that has a fair likelihood of causing death or serious injury, the court will be directed to sentence them to one year's imprisonment, with other relevant factors dictating whether this sentence will increase.
Pallet Trucks UK therefore urges businesses to take a second look at their safety protocols to ensure they stand up to the new, more rigorous guidelines issued this month.
12th November 2015