UK lags behind in health and safety duties

UK
companies are not ready for the introduction of corporate killing legislation,
according to a new poll.

The
EU directive, to be introduced into UK law this parliament, will hold company
board directors accountable for the wellbeing of staff.

Yet
a survey of 100 health and safety managers by RRC Business Training shows that
half of board directors see current health and safety legislation as red tape
and a third think it already imposes unnecessary constraints on business.

Almost
two-thirds regard health and safety as vital while a fifth see it as a
necessary evil.

A
quarter of the 100 health and safety managers polled are not aware of their
legal requirement to provide first aiders. Nearly a fifth did not realise they
are breaking the law by not carrying out regular assessments of computer
workstations when new recruits arrive.

A
quarter are not aware that companies could be held accountable by law when
health and safety falls below reasonable standards and only 40 per cent were
aware that companies can be subjected to unlimited fines if convicted of
corporate killing.

Gary
Fallaize, managing director of RRC Business Training, said: “There is a general
suspicion of legislation for legislation’s sake. Companies realise they need to
show they are going through the motions, but do not see the need to take
matters further."

By Paul Nelson

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