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Can we put a cost on getting health and safety wrong? – We can give it a good go!

People say you can’t truly understand the costs of doing health and safety versus not doing it. This may be true, it may not be.  There are many intangible effects that are hard to quantify, but somethings such as less sickness absence, less accidents resulting in time lost through injuries etc. can be measured.  Doing so, can help offer benefits to businesses and help them understand the long term costs saved by not causing injury or ill-health to the workforce.

One thing we do know is that we can find definitive evidence of the costs of not getting health and safety right, if it is bought to the attention of the UK regulator, the Health and Safety Executive. Thanks to information published on their website on enforcement ( we can find how many foundries have been prosecuted in the past 10 years and how many have received enforcement notices (10 year rolling registers).  SHIFT has been tracking these registers for some time and as a result, have put together the information in the attachment which can be downloaded.


To briefly summarise, the cost of dealing with the HSE and the FFI bills comes to an estimated £308,700.00 since its introduction in October 2012.  The cost per hour now is £154.  We know definitively, that the total cost in fines for prosecutions between 1998 and 2018 comes to £4.798 million, with HSE costs added, it is £5.691 million.  It is also known that as a result of the sentencing guidelines change in 2016, the average fine issued since is circa 12.5 times the cost it was prior to April 2016.


Many of the offences that have resulted in enforcement actions or prosecutions have been for very basic failures, or management activities that should have taken place but did not, despite the risk from the relevant hazards being widely known for many years.  The SHIFT initiative seeks to help foundries understand the risks in their operations, and, to try to help to find ways of managing them to the level necessary to ensure the on-going protection of the occupational health and physical safety of their employees; their greatest assets.


If you are a UK foundry and would like to know more about the work of the SHIFT initiative and how to get involved, please contact Richard Heath on 0121 809 3500, or visit the website:



Related Documents

FileDescriptionFile size
Estimating the costs of HS failings in foundries Best available estimation of enforcement costs against UK foundries
100 KB