Corporate Manslaughter: A brief guide for senior management

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Corporate Manslaughter: A brief guide for senior management

Post by bandman on Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:08 pm

The long-awaited Corporate Manslaughter Act has now arrived, and here's a brief summary of what senior management need to know in order to stay compliant.

Firstly, the new Act does not actually impose any new duties, so if you are certain that you currently comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), then you will also be complying with the new Act.

However, insufficient attention to key areas, including any of the following will mean that as a senior manager, you are vulnerable:

The training of front line workers
Here RoSPA can help by providing an initial Training Needs Analysis toidentify any areas of insufficient training, and viable options to remedy the situation.

Ensuring that procedures are followed by front-line workers and junior managers
The gap between written policy, and actual practice is notoriously difficult to bridge, yet cannot be ignored. An initial Behavioural Safety Audit will help ensure that the root causes of failure to comply are addressed.

Managing risks associated to the use of contractors
Many organisationswrongly assume that when contracting out an activity they contract out the associated risks. RoSPA's can provide assistance in this area, from advising on the selection process, developing management controls, to carrying out detailed health and safety management audits of potential or existing contractors. Helping clients ensure that contracted work is carried out in a safe and diligent manner.

The regular audit and review of safety systems
The flagship Quality Safety Audit is RoSPA's unique quantitative, flexible audit system that can be tailored to suit the risk profile of your organisation. By using an audit system that is so closely aligned with current best practice, you can ensure that your health and safety policy is consistent with Health and Safety Executive expectations.
For help with any of the above areas call RoSPA Consultancy on 0121 248 2076 or email

Companies fail to take notice of corporate killing law
Fewer than half of companies (47%) have implemented occupational road risk management policies and procedures to meet their duty of care responsibilities in the wake of this year’s introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act.

And, alarmingly, according to the ‘Lex Corporate Manslaughter Report’, a third of the 229 financial directors, controllers and chief financial officers quizzed from medium and large business did not know whether or not such procedures were in place.

Those who reported that a duty of care policy was in place were asked to identify the most important consideration when implementing the plan from a list of three factors. Almost two-thirds (63%) identified the ‘complexity of the laws’ as the most important factor. Around a fifth (22%) selected ‘cost’, with the remaining 16% selecting ‘time taken to set-up’.

A quarter of those questioned by Britain’s largest vehicle leasing company said compliance with the legislation had had the single greatest impact on their company, from a list that also included changes to emissions-based vehicle taxation and forthcoming changes to business car capital allowance rules.

There were mixed feelings about the financial cost of complying with new laws, with a similar proportion agreeing (30%) as disagreeing (34%) that it was ‘unacceptably high’.

The majority of companies (76%) also felt that the Government had failed to give them adequate notice ahead of the introduction of the legislation with just 24% saying they had been given sufficient warning.


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