Which factors influence the penalties imposed for breaches of health and safety law?
Cases relating to breaches of health and safety law will be dealt with according to their own particular circumstances. When deciding on the penalty to impose, the courts will have particular regard to the degree of risk and the extent of the danger created by the offence, and how far short of the appropriate standard the defendant fell. They will also be influenced by whether the breach was an isolated incident/lapse or continued over a period of time. Aggravating factors that may lead to a more severe sentence include a resulting death and a failure to heed a warning, while mitigating factors that may reduce the severity of the sentence include a prompt admission of responsibility and a prior good safety record.