Health and safety in the workplace, particularly in the building and construction industries, are of paramount importance to individuals around the world as well as in the United Kingdom. However, alarming figures collated by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) have indicated that despite the continued implementation of health and safety regulations in the workplace, many of these have not been followed or simply been ignored by members of the industry. The evidence based on this alarming and worrying claim is based on the staggering amount of fines accrued by building firms for not carrying appropriate risk assessments or putting their employees’ lives in danger and at great personal risk.
The year 2016 recorded a total of 19 fines imposed amounting to sums worth a million pounds or even greater than that, the greatest even reaching to a 5 million pound fine. This is clearly a disgrace to the building and construction industries and demonstrates that not enough businesses in these sectors are regarding the safety and wellbeing of their workers as it should be. It is also worth bearing in mind that fewer fines of staggering amounts were imposed during the year 2015. In fact, not a single fine amounting to 1 million pounds was imposed on a single business in 2014: this is not due to the fact that safety measures were implemented much more in that year than more recently. Rather, the reason for this increase in fines is also that the IOSH is imposing larger penalties than ever before on businesses that neglect the safety of their workers and it is hoped through this that this will be a way of ensuring that businesses regard the safety of their employees more seriously now that they can be fined huge amounts for negligence.
Shelley Frost of the directing body of IOSH has explained how injuries in the workplace destroy lives forever and it is therefore essential that all is done to ensure that businesses give health and safety the attention that it deserves.