Companies have to pay HSE inspectors’ fees of up to £124-an-hour if they are found to be breaking safety laws.
A Freedom of Information request made by health and safety expert ELAS revealed businesses across all sectors were fined a total of £5,532,565 since the scheme started in October 2012.
Construction was the second hardest hit sector and racked up 36% of all fines.
Wayne Dunning, ELAS’ lead health and safety consultant, said: “This figure is surprising.
“We’re led to believe that we live in a world where health and safety is seemingly enforced to such a high degree that it’s sometimes ridiculed as a result. This clearly isn’t the case for all companies judging by this result.
“It shows that the FFI scheme is a force to be reckoned with and that companies are clearly bearing the brunt of having poor, or even non-existent, health and safety measures in place.
“The truth is that a lot of these fines would be easily avoidable if firms took a few simple steps to boost their in-house health and safety policies.”