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Lighthouse Blog

HSE Fines- Who should receive the Money?

Hello all again it is good to see a lot of feedback on my last post so it at least means you are reading my blogs! Which I will take as a positive! It is good to have discussions and I would never criticise any effort to join in, so please feel free to comment.

As you can see from the heading of this blog, it regards the HSE fines. Two things have spurred this debate. The first was a prosecution from my home town of Sittingbourne –  Kent County Council Asbestos Fine £200,000.

If you didn’t read the above link, to make it simple Kent County Council received a £200,000 fine for poor management of asbestos. There are some other bits in the link that are interesting (mathematical risk of 0.0009% in 100,000 and the airborne levels being normal).

Anyway back to my blog…

A colleague of mine at Lighthouse pointed this out to me today 25% cut in HSE Inspectors The HSE have face a reduction in HSE inspectors from 1311 in 2010 to 980 in 2016. They are also facing a 46% reduction in funding.

For me it is quite clear, but I want to know your opinion. Should HSE fines go to better use? Now the HSE do get costs from court cases, in the KCC Asbestos case above, the HSE were awarded £21000. The court will get £200,000 and the HSE £21000. Not only does that disappoint me, but frustrates me. I think it should be the other way around, the court should receive the £21000 of costs and the HSE £200,000.

I would like the fines to go to better use. The HSE in May 2018 prosecutions came to a total of £1,500,000 & in June £640,000 that’s £2.2 million in fines in 2 months. Why can’t the HSE use that money? Maybe at Buxton in their research laboratory? The reason I put about the school, not just because it is a local school, but because the £200,000 that was fined to the Council, why not make them ring fence that money for compulsory asbestos training? Or just improving H&S Standards. What I see is that fine could be better used towards the issue rather than the crowns coffers. KCC have to pay £200k as well as the costs of downtime and lawyers etc and the training and corrective actions too.

Here is another example:

Thanet Council £250k HAVS

Now before anyone says “we cannot let anyone get away with soft fines”, I still want the punishment, I still want justice. But I want the Justice to be positive and actually improve safety standards.

What do you think? Comment below

 

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