Directors’ bonuses to be slashed in the event of health and safety breaches

The judgment of the Lord Chief Justice gives a clear indication that appeals against fines will be difficult to win. In two cases heard at the same time by the Court of Appeal, Network Rail and Sellafield Ltd were unsuccessful in their appeals against fines of £500,000 and £700,000 respectively, which had been imposed by the Crown Court for breaches of safety and environmental protection legislation.

The court heard that between 15 November 2008 and 19 April 2010, Sellafield had breached the stringent standards imposed on the processing and storage of nuclear waste by failing to ensure the adequacy of its system for segregating non-radioactive waste from radioactive waste.

The judge at first instance concluded that the failings ‘indicate basic management failures … [which] … demonstrate a … custom within the company that was too lax … to a degree complacent, and senior management must bear its share of responsibility’…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Withers briefing.

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