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Tougher penalties for health and safety offenders


Harsher punishments for lack of health and safety provision will come into force in January.

The new Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 has achieved Royal Assent and means from January the maximum fine that can be imposed on health and safety offences has been raised to £20,000 for most offences and a custodial sentence for more serious offences.

Lord McKenzie, parliamentary under-secretary of state in the Department for Work and Pensions, said: "Good employers and diligent managers and directors have nothing to fear from the Bill. Indeed they have much to gain as it tackles the commercial advantage that unscrupulous businesses gain from non-compliance."

The British Safety Council is in support of the act. Its CEO, Brian Nimick, said: "[The act] highlights the importance of the use of best practice in the workplace and sends a very clear message to employers that neglecting health and safety regulation is not acceptable and will be punished."