Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
We strongly recommend viewing Cleanzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Soapbox: Definitive Guideline on health & safety and corporate manslaughter offences
The British Safety Council has welcomed the Sentencing Council's newly published Definitive Guideline on health & safety and corporate manslaughter offences, which will come into effect on 1st February 2016 and will apply to England and Wales. The BSC says the document presents a strong argument for focusing on prevention and good governance. Neal Stone, the organisation's deputy chief executive, writes:
"This guideline has been eagerly awaited since the consultation closed at the beginning of the year. We believe that this definitive guideline is clear in presenting the business case for good health & safety. It will help to concentrate minds with the argument that it is better to prevent injury and ill health than face the costs associated with getting it wrong.
"We fully support the principle underlying criminal sanctions set out in the guidelines, that is, penalties should reflect the culpability of organisations and individuals found to have been in breach and the harm caused. However, our concern relates to the relatively low level of awareness among businesses of these new guidelines and the possible outcomes in relation to sentencing, and specifically in relation to individuals potentially receiving custodial sentences.
"In this respect, ensuring that executive and senior managers are sighted and aware of these liabilities is an important element not only in relation to good governance but also in relation to the opportunity to gain understanding of what good health and safety means to your organisation and the people working within it.
The real test is whether the significant increase in penalties will contribute to greater compliance and a reduction in workplace injuries and ill health occurrences.
Our role is to assist organisations to achieve compliance and this will be our focus."
19th November 2015