Health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences

View related documents on health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences here.

The definitive guideline and the consultation response document on health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences was published on 3 November 2015 and came into force on 1 February 2016.

The consultation on the draft guideline was published on 13 November and closed on 18 February 2015.

The guideline covers the following offences:

  • Health and safety offences – Organisations.
  • Health and safety offences – Individuals.
  • Corporate manslaughter.
  • Food hygiene and food safety offences – Organisations.
  • Food hygiene and food safety offences – Individuals.

The table below sets out some examples of changes made to the guidelines following our consultation. This “We asked, you said…” format suits some examples better than others and it would not be possible to represent some of the more complex points in this format. For a full and detailed explanation of the consultation process, please read the Consultation Response document.

  We asked: You said:  We did:   
Issue 1 – if you agreed with the way harm was assessed in the health and safety guideline. – it was unfair for employers to be liable for injury caused by an individuals own unforeseeable actions. – qualified that liability for actual harm caused as a result of an offence is limited to harm which was reasonably foreseeable.
Issue 2 – if the culpability categories for individuals and organisations in the guidelines were appropriate. – individual culpability categories of reckless and negligent could be inconsistently interpreted and were not as clear as categories for organisations. – aligned the individual culpability categories with organisations culpability categories to provide for consistent culpability assessments.
Issue 3 – if the harm categories for food safety and hygiene offences were appropriate. – there should be a greater focus on risk of harm as it is often difficult to identify a victim in these offences and is therefore difficult to prove actual harm. – risk of harm included within every category of harm in definitive guideline.