Salopian Health & Safety, a Shropshire based consultancy, is warning companies about how to adhere to legislation to make sure they don't breach their duty of care.
What does this mean?
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 is a landmark in law. For the first time, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care.
Have there been many prosecutions?
Corporate manslaughter cases increased by 40% in 2012, with 63 charges brought in 2012 in comparison to 45 in 2011.
Since 2009, 141 cases have been opened, with 56 prosecutions currently on-going. Despite the rise in numbers, there have only been three convictions since 2008.
Simon Joyston-Bechal, from legal firm Pinsent Masons, said: ‘’High-risk industries and companies cannot be reassured by the current lack of convictions for corporate manslaughter.
"The three convictions so far are just the tip of an iceberg. Corporate manslaughter cases are very complex and can take a long time to come to trial. We can now see from these figures that there are a rapidly growing number of cases in the pipeline’’.
He also warned that companies that cut health and safety expenditure to help survive the recession could leave themselves liable to prosecution in the event of an accident.
What must I do as an employer?
Companies and organisations that take their obligations under health and safety law seriously are not likely to be in breach of this legislation.
However, companies should keep their health and safety management systems under review, in particular, the way in which their activities are managed or organised by senior management.
If you have any doubt over the robustness of your health and safety systems, then please free to call, without obligation, to discuss how Salopian Health & Safety Consultancy can assist you and give you peace of mind, on 01743 491561.
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