No Hiding From Corporate Manslaughter

Publicity Order will cast a public spotlight on health and safety failings.

By News Desk
15th October 2007 at 10:06

April 2008 will see the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act.  Most businesses have now recognised that under this new legislation it will be much easier for an organisation to be convicted of manslaughter for work-related deaths – something which hasn’t always been the case.

Croner today point out, however, that Section 10 of the act requires that any company convicted of corporate manslaughter discloses its conviction in the public domain, as well as the details of the offence, the amount of any fine and the improvements it has been ordered to make to its health and safety culture. 

As Stephen Thomas of Croner says:

With the legislation only months away, we?re warning businesses that do not meet current health and safety standards and those with a poor safety culture to start restructuring and implementing the appropriate policies now.

Croner offers the following advice for businesses examining their health and safety position ahead of April’s law change:

 

  • Remember that a good culture, safety or otherwise, starts from the top! Appoint and provide assistance to a Health and Safety Director, who will need to ensure health and safety concerns, performance indicators, targets and failures are communicated to the Board.
  • Make sure that health and safety management systems accurately reflect the company?s activities.
  • Actively involve senior managers to act as motivators for all levels of management (by maintaining their interest through participation) and for employees (by demonstrating management?s commitment to their well-being).
  • Allocate health and safety responsibilities to all levels of staff to create a sense of ownership regarding the companies overall health and safety standards.
  • Encourage communication between all levels in spoken, written and visible pathways.
  • Implementing health and safety measures need not be costly ? it can save you money not only in the avoidance of fines, penalties etc. but in tangible business benefits such as increased performance, reduction in lost time, reduced insurance premiums and a healthier, happier workforce.

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