Name and shame those guilty of corporate manslaughter

Companies that break the new Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act should be named and shamed and hit by big fines, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Other sanctions – including far-reaching improvement orders and the suspension of board directors – should all be at the court’s disposal when sentencing under the new legislation, which comes into force on 6 April.

In its response to the Sentencing Advisory Council consultation on the sentencing for corporate manslaughter and homicide, IOSH has suggested wide-ranging remedial orders, including:

  • the compulsory training of directors and senior staff in the management of occupational safety and health
  • the introduction of a behavioural safety programme
  • the use of third-party audits and access to competent health and safety advice
  • the suspension of all or part of a board or governing body of a convicted organisation.

IOSH president Ray Hurst said: “Poor practices and behaviour patterns may have developed over several years and long-term commitment is required to bring about a reversal in this.

“Some fairly radical measures may be needed, for example, where there have been extreme cases of collective senior management failure, the courts may consider it’s in the best interest of public and employee health and safety for all or part of the board to be suspended.”

IOSH has also agreed with the proposed range of fines up to and beyond 10% of annual turnover, depending on circumstances, and that there should be a minimum level of fine – suggesting 2.5% of annual turnover.

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