health and safety (offences) act 2008
This Act, which came into force in January 2009, increases the penalties against those who break health and safety law and provide courts with greater sentencing powers. However, unlike the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act a breach of health and safety rules will not have to result in a death. The Health and Safety (Offenses) Act 2008 extends the £20,000 maximum Magistrates’ Court fine to a wider range of health and safety offenses for which fleet managers and fleet decision-makers, including directors, could be prosecuted for, to up to two years in a prison, if convicted in a Crown Court, a fine or both.
Previous to these acts, it was often difficult to identify responsibility within an organisation who directly contributed by way of management failure to accidents or even the death of an employee. Now, without appropriate systems in place, employers and managers risk the threat of prosecution for any offenses that occur.