Despite findings which show that employers recognise the link between health and safety and improved productivity and morale, HSE prosecutions have risen.
The fifth annual Health and Safety Offences and Penalties Report shows that last year the Health and Safety Executive (HSE ) made 206,000 regulatory contacts, investigated nearly 28,000 incidents and complaints, issued 11,295 improvement and prohibition notices and brought 982 prosecution cases a rise of 6% since last year.
Ninety per cent of the 1700 respondents, however, strongly agreed that a causal link exists between health and safety and productivity.
Business reputation was also found to be a key driver for 82% who said protecting their image was the main reason they complied with health and safety legislation, but only 45% would be more likely to act on the regulator’s advice because of its enforcement powers.
HSE Director General Timothy Walker commented:
“Our new research indicates that there are many employers who understand the benefits of good health and safety management, and are willing to learn from the mistakes of others. We can form good working partnerships with these employers, and work together to improve health and safety management.
“But until every employee in Great Britain works in a healthy and safe environment, there will be a continued need for HSE to use fair, reasoned and sensible enforcement as a necessary and powerful tool in ensuring that employers comply with the law. The research shows that this is the approach employers expect from us.”
This year’s report is available on the HSE website