The new offence of corporate killing will make companies criminally liable
Home Secretary Jack Straw is looking at the possibility of banning managers whose actions lead to deaths in the workplace from working in such roles again.
Mr Straw has already proposed changing the law on involuntary manslaughter.
He intends to create a new offence of corporate killing, designed to make companies and public bodies criminally liable for deaths caused by poor safety management.
And the Home Secretary has said he is looking at extending the law still further, to take action against individual managers.
Writing for the British Safety Council, Mr Straw said, "We are concerned that corporate liability alone might not be a sufficient deterrent, particularly within large or group companies.
"For this reason, we are considering whether it is appropriate for action to be taken against individual company officers if they contribute to the management failure that causes death."
This could mean that if found guilty that person would be disqualified from acting in a management role, he said.
The issue of "corporate killing" is to be highlighted at a BSC conference next month, which aims to put the spotlight firmly on company bosses who disregard the safety of their employees.
The June 13 conference in London will be attended by Mr Straw - the General Election permitting - and will focus on how to ensure company directors do not flout health and safety regulations. A spokeswoman for the BSC said health and safety - and occupational health - professionals could play a key part.
"If we want to make it harder for businesses to avoid being prosecuted for corporate killing, we have to integrate health and safety into their policy," she said.
The BSC conference follows an International Institute of Research Conference in March that looked at the liability of senior management for incidents of death in the workplace.
BSC director general Sir Neville Purvis told the conference, "I believe we need a tougher law to target repeat offenders - those who, by neglect, are putting people's health and even lives at risk. Those with good safety records will have nothing to fear."