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Directors Duties - HSC Board Meeting, 2005
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HSC Board Meeting, Dec 2005

An important new development took place in December 2005, when the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) agreed in principle that the law should be changed to impose duties upon directors. This decision rejected advice that had been provided to the HSC by its civil servants within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The minutes of this meeting, state that the HSC asked the HSE to “provide a paper to the commission in April [2006] on the options, their implications, what the legislation might look like and timescales.” It also stated that “there was a need to produce authoritative guidance which had widespread stakeholder buy in. Work on this should not start until a decision on how to amend the legislation is made.”

Subsequent to this meeting, Bill Callagham, Chair of the HSC, wrote to the Minister setting out the work that the HSE would now undertake in relation to advising on legislative options

Documents released Subsequent to December 2005 Meeting
To download letter from HSC to Safety Minister (Dec 05)
To download minutes of HSC meeting on 6 December 2005
To see CCA press release following HSC Meeting
To see HSC press release following HSC Meeting
Papers seen by HSC prior to December 2005 meeting
To download HSE advice to HSC prior to the Board Meeting and to download CCA response to HSE advice paper

The HSE had, during 2005, both reviewed and commissioned new research on issues relating to directors duties to assist the HSC in making its decision. To see what research was reviewed by HSE and HSC click here

To download CCA briefing sent to the HSC




HSC Statement on Directors’ Responsibilities following HSC meeting
The Health and Safety Commission, at their open meeting on 6 December, were presented with a paper regarding directors’ responsibility for health and safety. The paper followed two stakeholder conferences, one in Edinburgh and one in London and numerous research reports from various sources including the Centre for Corporate Accountability, Greenstreet Berman, University of Warwick, Middlesex Business School, University of Salford and the Health and Safety Laboratory.

The Commission have asked the Executive to do further work, and advise them in the light of it, on possible changes to health and safety legislation on director responsibilities. The chair will be writing to the minister to inform him of the commission conclusions to date.


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Page last updated on October 27, 2007