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Sharp rise in HSE enforcement action in Scotland

21 September 2012

The number of Improvement and Prohibition Notices issued to Scottish organisations by the Health and Safety Executive in the first half of this year is on course to increase by around 38% compared with the corresponding period last year. This projection was made by law firm Pinsent Masons in an analysis of enforcement actions across regions of the UK, and reported by SHP Online.

HSE figures show there were 473 notices issued in Scotland up until May, compared with 411 over the same period last year. Pinsent Masons projected there would be 568 enforcement notices issued up to the end of June – amounting to a 38% rise in enforcement notices compared with the first six months of 2011. 

This pattern is not reflected in other regions around the UK – in London, for example, enforcement actions appear to have dropped significantly (from 739 to 393 in the first half of 2012).

The trend in Scotland could be of concern for the region’s manufacturing and construction businesses, which accounted for 50% and 42% respectively of all enforcement actions taken throughout the UK in the first half of this year. 

The HSE’s cost-recovery scheme ‘Fee for Intervention’ is being introduced in October and will see hourly charges of up to £256 applied where there is a material breach of law requiring a formal regulatory intervention. 

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