The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently published figures – a brief overview
There were 674 cases prosecuted for health and safety breaches. 636 of these resulted in a successful conviction with a combined fines total of £18 million. Across England and Wales alone the HSE prosecuted 551 cases with 517 (94%) conviction success rate.
Looking at Enforcement notices (Improvement, Deferred Prohibition and Immediate Prohibition Notices) these have been on the increase in 2013/14 compared with the previous year across the UK. However some good news for: Agriculture, Extractive & Utility Supply Industry & Waste & Recycling, Manufacturing, Construction, Service Industries. The number of prosecutions and convictions declined across all with the exception being extractive & utility supply industry and waste & recycling. However there has been an increase in improvement notices issued across all industries.
Improvement in the economic cost? It is said that between 2006/07 and 2012/2013 the estimated total cost to society (individuals, employers and the government) of injuries and ill health in workers resulting largely from current working conditions fell by £2.3 billion (from £16.5 billion in 2006/07 to £14.5 billion in 2012/13). It is thought that the total cost shows signs of leveling off in recent years.
How do we fair with our European partners. Although health and safety recording, reporting and enforcement systems differ from country to country it is thought that the UK’s performance on key health and safety measures is superior to that of other European countries when looking at: injury, fatalities and levels of self-reported work-related ill health.
So the good old UK is getting something right, despite the reported level of conviction success rates.