Company bosses could face charges of corporate killing in future if their recklessness leads to fatal accidents in Scotland.
An expert group set up by the Scottish Executive has recommended a new offence of corporate killing and ministers were seriously considering the proposals.
The report also suggested a lesser charge for those not directly involved in an accident but whose omissions played a significant part in it.
The justice minister in the executive said the ideas would be carefully considered.
It would mean organisations whose actions or failings resulted in death could face prosecution and courts should have a range of penalties, including imprisonment.
However, a top legal expert has spoken out against the proposals.
Corporate lawyer David Leckie, from Maclay Murray & Spens, said: “The report has without doubt raised the temperature considerably. While no doubt being welcomed by unions and campaigners, it will be resisted by the majority of employers.”
“The dilemma the executive now faces is that Westminster has already rejected the possibility of liability and imprisonment for such senior managers,” he said.
Leckie said the new law could have “profound implications” for all businesses which operate in Scotland.