Health and safety prosecutions rose 6 per cent to 982 last year, according to the Health & Safety Executive’s annual offences and penalties report.
Fines for breaches of health and safety rules rose to an average of £14,000 per successful prosecution from £8,800 in 2002-03. The HSE prosecuted 17 directors and managers last year, with 11 ending up convicted.
However, despite the increase in fines, the HSE and TUC have both called for higher awards against companies.
The HSE said: “The current level of fines does not properly reflect the seriousness of health and safety offences. However, it is up to the courts to decide appropriate fines.”
Hugh Robertson, head of health and safety at the TUC, added: “We need fines to reflect the seriousness of the offence.”