Skip to main content

Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008



The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008, which came into force on 16 January 2009, amends the maximum penalties that can be made against defendants under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) and subservient health and safety regulations.

A full copy of the Regulations can be printed and/or downloaded from:

This Act gives lower courts the power to impose higher fines for some health and safety offences, as follows:

OffenceMagistrates' CourtCrown Court
Breaches of general duties under HASAWA Sections 2 - 8 or RegulationsFine up to £20,000 and/or up to 12 months' imprisonmentUnlimited fine and/or up to 2 years' imprisonment
Non-compliance with an Improvement Notice, a Prohibition Notice or a Court Order
Making a false statement or entry in a register
Any other offence not specified
Breaches of general duties under HASAWA Section 9Fine up to £20,000Unlimited fine
Obstruct an InspectorFine up to £5,000 and/or 51 weeks (England & Wales) or 12 months (Scotland) imprisonmentNot available
To pretend to be an InspectorFine up to £5,000Not available

Further guidance is available from the HSE website.

Content of the Act

  1. Health and safety offences: mode of trial and maximum penalty
  2. Consequential amendments and repeals
  3. Short title, commencement and extent
    • Schedule 1: New Schedule 3A to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
    • Schedule 2: New Schedule 3A to the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978
    • Schedule 3: Consequential amendments
    • Schedule 4: Repeals

HSE ACoPs and Guidance

No specific guidance relate to this Act.