Big companies named in HSE’s publication of 1,600 health and safety offences
The historic first "naming and shaming" of health and safety
offenders took place at the end of October.
Well-known companies were named in national newspapers after the Health
& Safety Executive included the relevant web page in press releases. These
included Johnson Matthey, 3M and Tarmac.
Expressing his satisfaction at the development, HSE director-general Timothy
Walker said firms’ professional reputation should depend on their health and
"The convictions are there for everyone to see," he said,
"including would-be customers, contractors, investors, employees and
"They all have a right to be aware of an organisation’s health and
safety record before they decide whether to invest their capital and
The HSE revealed 1,600 individual offences during 1999-2000, giving full
details of each. Users can access the information according to a number of
criteria, including geographical location, type of industry, size of fine and
type of work activity.
Walker also criticised the courts for imposing fines that were too low.
"In 1998 the Court of Appeal stated that fines were too low," he
said. "I agree, yet since then, there has been only limited progress –
with the average fine under £7,000."
The move is part of the Revitalising Health and Safety initiative, which
follows demands by trade unions and Labour MPs, who say fines are an
insufficient deterrent to unsafe practice.