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Up to £450,000 in fines for safety breaches on British farms

Staff writer |
New sentencing rules in the UK mean farmers and landowners could face tougher penalties for breaching health and safety laws.

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Under the Sentencing Council’s new guidelines, fines for breaching health and safety laws must have a ‘real economic impact’ on the offending business and should not be seen as a cheaper alternative to taking the correct precautions.

Any punishments handed down will also have to take account of the level of harm, culpability and an organisation’s turnover. For the majority of farms and estates that means penalties of between £50 and £450,000 could be possible.

Agriculture continues to be one of the UK’s most dangerous industry to work in.

Last year, 37 people lost their lives in farming related incidents. About 14,000 agricultural workers suffer serious injury each year.

According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, the number of fatalities in the farming industry per 1,000 workers was the highest of any sector in 2014/15, six times that of construction.