04 March 2008
New corporate manslaughter laws mean firms must prioritise health and safety
The impending corporate manslaughter legislation due to come into effect in April means that, whereas in the past, the crown has found it "virtually impossible" to successfully prosecute large firms, this will not be the case in the future, an expert has warned.
According to Anne Gibbs, general manager of Occupational Safety Training and Advisory Services, companies must therefore give a much higher priority to health and safety within their businesses, the Coventry Telegraph reports.
She stated: "The new law will dramatically change the way boardrooms will be required to manage their business - by planning and responding to industrial accidents resulting in death."
Ms Gibbs added that firms will have to ensure that adequate training, supervision, monitoring and auditing is conducted, as well as ensuring the establishment of appropriate safety systems.
According to research recently conducted by Norwich Union Risk Services, 42 per cent of companies surveyed could not show their board member with responsibilities over health and safety had formally recognised qualifications.