Corporate killing back on track

The
Home Secretary has again promised a law that will punish large corporations
whose failure to set or maintain standards causes a death.

David
Blunkett said a new Bill will be introduced to tighten corporate manslaughter
laws, rather than through an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill currently
before Parliament.

Labour
promised a tightening of laws in its 1997 manifesto.

Under
the proposed law, companies will be subject to an unlimited fine and be given a
criminal record.

The
offence of corporate manslaughter already exists, but to get a conviction, it must
be proved that a senior individual within an organisation has been grossly
negligent. So far, there have been very few successful prosecutions.

Diane
Sinclair, adviser, employment relations, at the Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development, said she welcomed the move as it showed the
Government was focusing on health and safety issues.

A
timetable for legislation will be announced this autumn.

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