Corporate killing legislation row continues

The long-running row over proposed corporate killing legislation is set to continue after health and safety professionals told MPs the current draft of the Bill must make individual directors more responsible for the wellbeing of staff.

In its official submission to parliament, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), which represents 28,000 health and safety professionals, called for changes to the current legislation and said company directors should be forced to follow an official safety code.

IOSH president Lawrence Waterman told the 11-member home affairs sub-committee responsible for the Bill that directors should have a set of formal duties and be obliged to follow a quasi-legal code of practice.

“There should, quite simply, be corporate accountability for corporate failure. This Bill will raise awareness of the issue, but we need to balance the negative examples with the positive.

“We are also calling for an approved code of practice for directors which clearly outlines good practice,” he said.

IOSH recommended that the current Health and Safety Executive guidance on directors’ safety duties should be reissued as an approved code of practice, backed up with some legal status.

Corporate manslaughter laws were first promised in 1997, but the latest draft Bill is still being scrutinised by parliament.


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