health & safety sentencing guidelines

Prison for health and safety offences

Last month my colleagues and I attended the Compliance in Facilities Management Benchmarking Network event organised by BSRIA to go through the new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences.

The new guidelines will come into force on 1st February 2016. You can read the full document here, but some key points to consider include:

  • Fines of up to £10 million for organisational breaches
  • Fines of up to £20 million for corporate manslaughter
  • For very large companies, the ability to go beyond these maximums with unlimited fines
  • Prison sentences of up to two years for individual breaches

Compliance is key

These new sentencing guidelines make compliance even more essential than they already were. The BSRIA event picked out a number of key points for compliance managers in facilities management:

  • Stop firefighting and have clarity about what compliance means in the business
  • Capture evidence and be able to demonstrate compliance
  • Be clear about who is responsible for compliance
  • Ensure everyone supporting compliance knows and understands their responsibilities
  • Regularly review training records for engineers completing maintenance and statutory inspections

One of the workshop streams highlighted the importance of a dashboard or “traffic light system” and a feedback loop to ensure that recommendations requiring action are followed up.

Another workshop stream considered which assets are covered by legislation and the CIBSE Guide M was recommended as an excellent reference point. You can download it here.

Managing compliance

We found the event to very informative and useful and I would like to add that many of the points raised by delegates can be addressed through the use of compliance management systems which are programmed with the entire compliance regime, sending out alerts and reminders, escalating any issues and managing the close out of these, will make the compliance manager’s life far easier.

Such as systems should also capture and record all evidence, so that this can be provided whenever required, along with a full audit trail.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about the Compliance module within Riskenomics.