Food Alert gathered a handpicked group of the hospitality industry’s best operators – restaurant, hotels, distributors, supermarkets – during a Breakfast event at The Groucho Club, in London on Tuesday. Together with their Legal Partners from BLM Law, top executives from Food Alert welcomed discussions and an exchange of experiences around the recently introduced tougher Sentencing Guidelines for Health & Safety breaches.

Welcoming guests to the morning event, David Bashford, Managing Director Client Services at Food Alert said: “The new Guidelines are pushing judges to impose significantly higher fines which creates real concern for UK organisations.”

Introduced on 1st February 2016, the new Sentencing Guidelines mean considerable increases in fines for medium and large businesses and make imprisonment more likely where individuals are convicted of the more serious health and safety offences.

To determine the category of the offence, courts will look at culpability and harm. The judge will consider the overall seriousness of the harm risked as well as the likelihood of harm when determining the “harm category”. Seriousness of harm risked by the offender’s breach is considered in 3 levels:

• Level A: death or physical or mental impairment resulting in lifelong dependency on third party care for basic needs or a significantly reduced life expectancy

• Level B: physical or mental impairment, not amounting to level A, which has substantial and long-term effect on the sufferer’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities or their ability to return to work. A progressive, permanent or irreversible condition

• Level C: all other cases

The likelihood of that harm arising is high, medium or low. Culpability is the extent to which an offender failed to meet the standards required. There are four categories of culpability: very high, high, medium and low.

Having determined the culpability and harm categories, the court then fixes the category range by reference to the company’s turnover which provides the financial starting point for sentencing purposes. That means that the size of the company now has a direct impact on fine ranges. Previously, a large organisation could expect to be fined a sum that would seldom be less than £100,000. If sentenced under the new Guideline, those companies can now expect fines that are at least 5 to 10 times that amount.

About Food Alert

Food Alert is a leading international Food Safety and Health & Safety consultancy based in London.

With more than 25 years of experience, Food Alert supports a wide range of business, from prestigious restaurants and hotels, to restaurant groups, international chains, retailers, leisure and independently owned businesses. Providing a broad variety of services in Health & Safety, Fire Safety, Food Hygiene, certified training and online training, Food Alert was awarded Best Premium Registered Centre by the CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) in 2015.

Food Alert operates in the UK, Europe, and other international locations.

For more information on Food Alert please visit www.foodalert.com

To find out more, visit the homepage or call us on 020 7244 1900.

The information contained in this article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official food safety, health & safety nor fire safety advice.

Food Alert take no responsibility if the information in the article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Food Alert services please do call our team on 020 7244 1900 or email enquiries@foodalert.com

Date:

24.03.2016

Category:

Health & Safety

Author:

Food Alert