27 February 2008
Company directors 'should prepare for new corporate manslaughter legislation'
Senior managers and company directors who have a responsibility for health and safety should be suitably qualified in order to prepare for the new corporate manslaughter legislation due to come into effect in April, it has been suggested.
According to research conducted by Norwich Union Risk Services (NURS), 42 per cent of firms surveyed could not show their board member with nominated responsibilities over health and safety had formally recognised qualifications.
Commenting on the findings John Phillips, training and consultancy manager for NURS, stated: "Our research supports anecdotal evidence from the experience of our health and safety consultants that some company directors and senior managers may well be failing to take health and safety seriously."
Organisations convicted under the new corporate manslaughter laws could face fines of ten per cent of their annual turnover, he added.
The Corporate Manslaughter Act, which will come into force of April 6th, will leave firms facing a criminal conviction and unlimited fines following fatal accidents if it is determined there has been gross negligence by senior managers.