Health and safety should be a priority for every organisation. Serious injuries, ill-health and damage can occur as a result of poor workplace health and safety, negligence or unsafe business operations. Poor risk management can also lead to irreversible reputational damage and reduced employee morale, motivation and satisfaction. Plus, there’s the cost of non-compliance with the numerous health and safety regulations to consider. This can lead to expenses such as sick pay and cover, reputational damage causing lost sales, increased insurance premiums, and legal penalties, including fines and the potential for a prison sentence and a criminal record.

We’re living in a digital world where news travels faster than ever before. If businesses breach health and safety regulations, put people’s lives at risk or, worse, if someone is harmed as a result of poor health and safety (H&S) standards, the news will spread like wildfire and this can be enough to ruin any business’s reputation.

Organisations don’t just have a moral responsibility to protect people from harm, they’re also legally obliged to make sure operations and workplaces are as safe as possible. Breaching health and safety regulations, such as CDM in construction, comes with many financial costs for businesses — including fees and penalties from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and compensation payouts to injured parties. 

In this article, we outline the cost of non-compliance with health and safety regulations and explore some of the ways poor H&S standards can put financial pressure on your business. 

The Cost of Sick Pay and Cover

While every employee will take the occasional sick day — the average number of sick days per employee was 4.4 in 2019 — each day your staff take off to recover from ill-health costs your business money. You may need to offer your employees sick pay or pay for cover. In the UK, the average cost of 4.4 sick days is £463.76, but the cost of sick pay and cover will vary depending on employees’ wages and how long they take off.

Poor health and safety standards in your workplace can increase the likelihood of workers suffering from work-related ill health or injuries and needing to take time off to recover. Lack of compliance with regulations, codes of practice and guidance relating to health and safety can, in turn, increase the costs of sick pay and cover.

The Cost of Non-Compliance Can Cause Profits to Take a Hit

Non-compliance with health and safety regulations inevitably leads to reputational damage for most businesses. If accidents happen in your workplace as a result of poor risk management, word will likely spread about your business’s lack of commitment to keeping workers, site visitors or members of the public safe. Similarly, if legal action is taken against your business in response to a breach of regulations, this will have a knock-on effect on your reputation. 

When your image or reputation takes a hit, this can have a significant impact on your profitability. You may experience a drop in customer/client satisfaction or loyalty and land fewer sales or contracts as a result. You might also experience employee retention issues and recruitment may become a trickier and more costly process, preventing you from achieving maximum profitability.

HSE Penalties: The Average Fine is £150,000

If your business is found to be guilty of not complying with regulations, you could face penalties, fines or even imprisonment. Fines are the most common punishment and one of the main deterrents for non-compliance. 

The Sentencing Council introduced new sentencing guidelines in 2016 that brought with them harsher penalties and fines available to the courts for organisations who do not manage health and safety matters effectively. In 2018/2019, the average health and safety fine rose to £150,000 — the highest it’s ever been — and a total of £54.5 million worth of fines were issued.

£150,000 is a hefty enough fine for most businesses, but larger organisations and those that commit serious offences could face even higher fines, potentially costing millions of pounds. 

Fines are decided based on three main factors:

  • Culpability — Whether the breach was deliberate, a result of disregard for the law or an isolated, minor incident.
  • Harm — How serious was the breach? What level of harm did it/could it have caused?
  • Turnover — Health and safety fines are proportionate to the size and turnover of the business. Smaller businesses will face smaller fines than those with a higher turnover. For example, businesses with a turnover of less than £2 million will face fines starting at £250,000 for breaches with ‘Very High Culpability’, whereas businesses with a turnover of over £50 million will face fines starting at £4 million for breaches with the same level of severity and culpability. 

In addition to your fine, you may also have to cover the prosecution expenses of your trial, further increasing the costs of non-compliance. 

Compensation Payouts for Injuries or Ill-Health

In addition to HSE fines and sick pay, if poor health and safety standards in your workplace cause injuries or ill-health, you face the risk of the affected people taking legal action against you. If you’re found to have breached health and safety regulations, you may need to make large compensation payouts to anyone suffering from an injury or health condition as a result of your non-compliance.

Compensation costs can include payments for loss of earnings and medical treatment or care.

Increased Insurance Premiums

After being found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations, your existing insurance policies might be invalidated and, when trying to find new cover, providers may be reluctant to offer you insurance. Those that do will likely insist on increasing your premium.  

This is because insurance providers will have their own risk management policies and procedures and non-compliance is associated with high levels of risk, particularly financial risk. 

Get Salus Support

Your business doesn’t have to face the expensive costs of non-compliance. Salus can help you achieve compliance not just with health and safety regulations, but across many different areas of risk management. 

By becoming a Salus H&S Advisory Client, you’ll unlock access to a wide range of risk management resources, including compliance checklists and risk assessment templates. Find the right Salus solution package for your business now. 

If you need extra support managing your Health & Safety responsibilities, our H&S consultants can help.

Get in touch on or give us a call on 01978 504144 to find out more about how we can help your business be safe and healthy.


Speak to one of our Health & Safety Consultants today

Book a FREE no-obligation consultation with one of our Health & Safety consultants today

Contact us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


The Salus team are fantastic. Nothing is ever any trouble for them. Anything we have ever asked for has been immediately dealt with. They are a key provider for my company and give me comfort allowing me to run my business on the day to day stuff knowing I have their support at the back of me. Thank you Salus keep up the good work.”

Atlas Trading Ltd

Salus Services have always provided us with excellent service over a number of years, they constantly keep us updated on health and safety news and updates that are relative to our industry and are always there to support us when we need them with prompt professional advice and assistance, we would highly recommend them”

Primal Systems Ltd

We have worked with Salus Services Ltd for over 2 years and they continue to amaze us at B&R Fabrications Ltd, their knowledge of all safety aspects is always first class, informative and importantly up to date. We have no problems in recommending this company for all aspects of Health & Safety advice and support.”

B&R Fabrications Ltd

Salus have been our H&S Advisers for several years now and have always provided a knowledgeable, professional service with a prompt response to any of our H&S requirements.”

Hallam Heating Ltd

We have worked with Wayne, Alice and the team for a number of years. Now. They have always provided a first class service with rapid responses to any health and Safety advice we may need for our construction projects.”

Specialist UK Restorations Ltd

We have a tiling business and Salus sort all our Health and Safety needs. Alice is always great to deal with and very helpful. Highly recommended!!!!!.”

Farndon Tiles Ltd

We’ve been working with the guys at Salus Services Ltd for around three years now and the Health and Safety support and advice provided is always first class. Knowledge levels appear to be really high and the ability to act swiftly to our needs is always top drawer. Thanks Wayne, Alice and the Salus team for your ongoing support.”

Firesec Compliance Ltd

Salus have always been a pleasure to work with. The support for my business has always been above and beyond and they are always on hand for any queries I may have. I could not recommend them more.”

Felix Nyss

I have worked with Salus Services Ltd for over 3 years and their knowledge of all safety aspects is exceptional, informative and up to date. I have no problems in recommending this company. Wayne and Alice are very helpful and always on hand to provide advice and support on all aspects of Health and Safety.”

Quadriga Contracts Ltd

I received on site support at Alpro UK from Wayne Jones, OHS Consultant (Salus Services) today. Wayne attended site at the agreed time and supported the accident investigation. Wayne was prompt, professional and the visit was received extremely well by our customer. Wayne also committed to produce the accident investigation report within 24 hours. Again, this prompt action by Tetra Pak and Wayne was very well received by our customer. Wayne’s support was excellent, and I would like to pass on our appreciation to him.”

Tetra Pak UK Ltd

We are very satisfied with Salus Services who regularly provide us with detailed H&S Advisory services which is always appropriate and consistent with the latest legislation.”

Morgan Davies Construction Ltd

Our Clients

FREE Corona Virus - Covid-19 - Back in Business Guide

Subscribe to the Salus newsletter and receive the latest copy of the brochure. Sent straight to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Back in Business Guide


I’m worried about health and safety, but don’t know where to start?

Outsource to a health and safety consultant who has specialist knowledge and expertise in the field of health and safety who will take the worry away for you. Read More

I’m Looking to Keep my Business Health and Safety Compliant, What Does it Involve?

Getting matched with a highly qualified Health and Safety Consultant and keeping your H&S procedures up to date. Read more

How much does it cost for a Health & Safety Consultant?

The right health and safety consultancy should save your business money. Read more 

Why Should we Choose Salus Services as our Health & Safety Consultant?

Well, we have a reputation for being a practical Health & Safety Consultancy who help construction contractors and companies be Health & Safety compliant. Read more


What Could Happen if I just do My Own Health & Safety?

Health and safety laws are there to protect you, your employees and the public from workplace dangers. Breaches of these laws can have serious consequences if your policies and procedures are out of date, that’s if you have any! Read more

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Health and Safety Consultant?

By choosing the right health and safety consultant, they can take your worries away and should save your business money. Read more

Who Needs a Health and Safety Consultant?

Every business who wants to provide a safe work environment for all of its employees and every business owner who wants to protect them and their company. Read more

Why Should I Hire a Health and Safety Consultant?

As a professional consultant, they’re fully dedicated to their role and will not get bogged down by your company’s internal affairs, nor are they influenced by your past safety record. Read more

How can I be legal and be able to Protect myself, my company and my employees?

By following an easy 3 stage step by step process, which starts by completing our 15 Step Health & Safety Checklist to see how you’re doing. Read more

So, Who Hires a Health & Safety Consultant?

Every business who wants to provide a safe work environment for all of its employees. Read more

What Does a Health and Safety Consultant Do?

A health and safety consultant is hired as a third-party professional with specialist knowledge and expertise in the field of health and safety. Read more

What Should I Look for When Hiring a Health and Safety Consultant?

It’s essential when hiring a health and safety consultant that you check to see if they hold the properly recognised qualifications and can meet your specific business needs. Read more

What is a ‘competent person’ in relation to Health & Safety?

To be considered ‘competent’, an individual must have sufficient training, experience and knowledge of health and safety in order to assist you properly. Read more

Do You Know What Health & Safety is Required in my Sector?

No two companies are the same, and this is recognised by Salus. A broad-brush approach to health and safety will not only fail to address the specific hazards you face, but won’t be geared towards your particular needs, leaving you feeling short-changed. Read more