5 of the most expensive compliance blunders in 2017

5 of the most expensive compliance blunders in 2017

Whether you’re a CEO of a large global supermarket or an owner of a small convenience store, failing to be compliant can cost you millions of pounds in fines. Here are some of the worst examples from 2017.

When it comes to safeguarding your business, customers and employees, it’s vital to consider your legal obligations regarding health and safety, environmental, quality and security compliance.

Failure to do this can not only tarnish the reputation of your business and put people’s lives at risk, but also result in a sizeable fine.

So, if you’re thinking about cutting corners or believe you need to tighten up on certain procedures, you may want to take a look at this list first.


One Stop – £250k fine

Fareham Borough Council successfully prosecuted One Stop Ltd for health and safety failures last year, costing the chain of convenience stores £250k.

The incident occurred back in September 2016, when a customer sustained serious injuries after tripping over a pothole on the forecourt.

The Environmental Health Officers revealed that the local store had numerous opportunities to repair the pothole, but failed to do so. An easy fix resulting in a big fine.


Iceland Foods – £2.5 million fine

Frozen food giants, Iceland, faced a staggering £2.5 million fine after a fatal accident occurred at one of their stores in Rotherham.

On 28 October 2013, a contractor visited the store to replace the filters within an air conditioning unit situated in the warehouse on a plant platform above a suspended ceiling.

Unfortunately, the contractor fell three metres from the platform and through the ceiling. As a result, he sustained fatal injuries.

The following investigation discovered that the Rotherham store had failed to carry out a risk assessment and tried to argue that they were intending on fitting a guardrail.


Tesco – £8 million fine

Following the horsemeat scandal in 2013, Tesco made the headlines for the wrong reasons again last year when they were fined £8 million.

The fine was issued after a huge fuel leak happened in 2014 at the Haslingden petrol station, polluting a Lancashire river. According to the Environment Agency, over 5,000 gallons of petrol escaped from the Tesco filling station and entered the sewerage system. The careless act not only killed local wildlife, but also forced some locals to leave their homes after suffering from headaches and sickness.

As it stands, this is the largest fine for a single incident of pollution in the UK.



Laing O’Rourke – £2.5 million fine

Construction company, Laing O’Rourke, was issued with a monumental fine in 2017 after an isolated incident resulted in the death of an employee back in 2014.

The tragic event occurred when large concrete panels weighing several tonnes toppled over onto 29-year-old employee, Richard Reddish. The father of one was killed, with the following investigation revealing that Laing O’Rourke hadn’t previously completed a single risk assessment.

The company’s failure to take the simple but essential precautionary measures has ended in the worst possible scenario.


Howden Joinery – £1.2 million

Fitted kitchen supplier, Howden Joinery, were forced to pay £1.2 million after a lorry driver was killed whilst visiting their depot in Cumbria.

48-year-old agency worker, Richard Brown, was crushed when a forklift overbalanced and left him trapped against the HGV. The maximum weight capacity of the forklift truck was 1,520kg, yet the combined weight of the kitchen worktops was 2,160kg.

A preventable incident and avoidable fine if the right training was previously carried out for their agency workers.



The lesson here is to ensure you carry out the relevant actions and have the right training in place for your employees. Don’t put things off or shun accountability, because it could result in serious injuries, incidences and fines.

So if you want to avoid making our 2018 list, you might want to consider getting a second opinion.

Here at icet solutions, we offer a wide range of services, from compliance management software to providing training and e-learning. To find out more, get in touch today.


What is legal compliance and why is it essential for your business?

What is legal compliance and why is it essential for your business?

Many businesses are simply unaware that easily avoidable compliance failures can destroy a successful company in one day.

‘Meeting regulatory compliance’ describes an organisation ensuring that they are aware of, and take the necessary steps to comply with relevant laws and regulations for Quality, Environmental, Health & Safety, Security and Facilities Management.  Managing legal compliance is therefore critical for any organisation.

In its business sense, “compliance” refers to a company meeting its legal obligations. Businesses are often not fully aware of the specific legislation that applies to their company activities and unfortunately, this is not a defence in a court of law should things go wrong.

Understanding legal requirements can be time-consuming and expensive. Many companies sign up to online services, however, even this can be frustrating as the company still needs to interpret what is relevant and just as importantly, what is not.

The most obvious consequence of effective compliance is that it decreases the risk of fines, penalties, work stoppages, lawsuits or even a shutdown of the organisation.   Too many companies are so focused on day to day business that they ignore the growing need for a compliance management strategy. Another, lesser known consequence of effective compliance is that by effectively managing processes, organisations tend to save significantly on costs.

Failing to meet your legal obligations, can also be very costly. A recent survey* showed nearly 50% of the organisations are not aware of the cost of compliance. This points towards mass wastage of time and money.

This survey also found that the use of an integrated management software solution improved compliance management significantly, allowing business owners to focus on day-to-day operations.

So you need to change, but how?

Once the need for a regulatory change is identified, many organisations struggle to ensure that the change process is completed.  Regulatory change is often handled on a project basis, supported by spreadsheets and other such manual tools.  Such an approach is fraught with risk – things can slip through the cracks and evidencing results to key stakeholders, including regulators, senior management, and Boards of Directors, can prove to be difficult.

Organisations that adopt a regulatory change management system are better able to realise a range of benefits, including reduced compliance risk and improved communication with stakeholders. The time and resources freed up by a simpler, streamlined approach means that businesses can focus on enhancing shareholder value through improved analysis, more thoughtful reporting, and working directly with the organisation to improve strategic planning.

Icet solutions ltd are an Integrated Management Solutions provider working within Quality, Environmental, Health & Safety, Security and Facilities Management sectors offering an end to end compliance solution.

*Source:  NAVEX Global research