4. Individuals: Breach of duty of employer towards employees and non-employees/ Breach of duty of self-employed to others/ Breach of duty of employees at work/ Breach of Health and Safety regulations/ Secondary liability

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (section 33(1)(a) for breaches of sections 2, 3 and 7, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (section 33(1)(c)), Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (sections 36 and 37(1) for breaches of sections 2 and 3 and section 33(1)(c)
Effective from: 01 February 2016

You will find below a non-exhaustive list of factual elements providing the context of the offence and factors relating to the offender. Identify whether any combination of these, or other relevant factors, should result in an upward or downward adjustment from the starting point. In particular, relevant recent convictions are likely to result in a substantial upward adjustment. In some cases, having considered these factors, it may be appropriate to move outside the identified category range.

Factors increasing seriousness

Statutory aggravating factors:

  • Previous convictions, having regard to a) the nature of the offence to which the conviction relates and its relevance to the current offence; and b) the time that has elapsed since the conviction
  • Offence committed whilst on bail

Other aggravating factors include:

  • Cost-cutting at the expense of safety
  • Deliberate concealment of illegal nature of activity
  • Breach of any court order
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Poor health and safety record
  • Falsification of documentation or licences
  • Deliberate failure to obtain or comply with relevant licences in order to avoid scrutiny by authorities
  • Targeting vulnerable victims

Factors reducing seriousness or reflecting personal mitigation

  • No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions
  • Evidence of steps taken voluntarily to remedy problem
  • High level of co-operation with the investigation, beyond that which will always be expected
  • Good health and safety record
  • Effective health and safety procedures in place
  • Self-reporting, co-operation and acceptance of responsibility
  • Good character and/or exemplary conduct
  • Inappropriate degree of trust or responsibility
  • Mental disorder or learning disability, where linked to the commission of the offence
  • Serious medical conditions requiring urgent, intensive or long term treatment
  • Age and/or lack of maturity where it affects the responsibility of the offender
  • Sole or primary carer for dependent relatives