Sentencing organisations for health and safety offences
Produced in partnership with David Travers QC and Nicholas Ostrowski, Barrister of 6 Pump Court Chambers

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with David Travers QC and Nicholas Ostrowski, Barrister of 6 Pump Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sentencing organisations for health and safety offences
  • Step one: Determining the offence category
  • Basis of plea and Newton hearings
  • Step two: Starting point and category range
  • Step three: Proportionality
  • Step four: Other factors that may warrant adjustment
  • Step five: Any factors which may indicate a reduction
  • Step six: Reduction for guilty pleas
  • Step seven: Compensation and ancillary orders
  • Step eight: Totality principle
  • More...

Sentencing organisations for health and safety offences

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA 1974) applies to employers and self employed persons.

The Sentencing Council (SC) produces guidance on sentencing for courts in England and Wales in the form of offence-specific sentencing guidelines for use in the magistrates’ court and the Crown Court which, pursuant to section 59 of the Sentencing Act 2020 (SA 2020), courts in England and Wales must follow when sentencing organisations for health and safety offences unless it would be contrary to the interests of justice to do so. These sentencing guidelines do not extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland although the sentencing courts in these jurisdictions may have reference to them to assist them in their sentencing role. See Practice Note: Sentencing health and safety cases in Scotland.

The SC has published offence-specific guidelines for courts sentencing organisations for breaches of HSWA 1974 and for breaches of health and safety regulations. The SC previously published these offence-specific guidelines within the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guideline but has now published them online (and not in PDF or paper format) separately as individual offence-specific guidelines for the magistrates’ courts and Crown Courts. These offence-specific guidelines supersede and replace the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive

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