Body supports positive legal duties on directors
in surprise decision.
The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) has
asked its civil servants to "explore the
possibility of imposing duties on directors"
of private sector and public bodies. It rejected
advice from the Health and Safety Executive that
it should not go down the legislative path and
simply produce 'authoritative guidance'
Body must support Directors' law reform - and
reject civil servant advice
The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) has
been advised by its civil servants not to propose
a change in the law that would impose safety
duties upon company directors. On Tuesday 6
December the HSC is meeting in a public session
to decide whether or not to advise Government
on the necessity of legal change. The
advice - given by civil servants within the
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - has been
provided despite the fact that the HSE's own
commissioned research itself concluded that
the evidence supported change in the law. It
is also despite no director of a medium or large
sized company ever having been convicted of
a health and safety offence.
and injury investigations compromised by employers'
Investigations by the Health and Safety Executive
(HSE) into work-related deaths and injuries are
being compromised by the presence of employer
solicitors at interviews of employees by HSE inspectors,
the CCA has told the Law Society.
David Bergman, director of the CCA, welcomed the
large fines imposed on these two companies for
serious breaches of health and safety law. He
said: "the failure to achieve convictions
against any individuals for health and safety
or manslaughter offences, or against companies
for manslaughter offences, reflects a need for
significant legal reform in this area".
Failures" in Scottish Ambulance Service says
The HSE have severely criticised the Scottish
Ambulance Service in an inspection report obtained
by the CCA. The report says that the "Scottish
Ambulance Service Board have systematically failed
to implement systems to ensure compliance with
minimum statutory requirements" in relation
to health and safety.
on Dropping of Manslaughter Charges Involving
Hatfield Train Crash
The dropping of the charges indicates two legal
required - one concerning the accountability of
company directors, and the other about the company
CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER BILL "WOULD BE INCOMPATIBLE
WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ACT" SAYS LEGAL ADVICE
The new corporate manslaughter bill runs a
real risk of violating human rights
law unless the Home Office changes the way the
new offence applies to crown bodies and unincorporated
bodies, according to legal advice from human rights
lawyers at two barristers chambers.
CHANGES NEEDED TO CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER BILL
SAYS SAFETY CHARITY
Changes need to be made to the Corporate Manslaughter
Bill before it can be considered an acceptable
reform, the Centre for Corporate Accountability
has told the the Home Office in its response to
the consultation process.
WELCOME TO CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER BILL
The CCA has given a cautious
welcome to the long awaited publication of the
draft corporate manslaughter bill. The
Press Releases set out what we welcome - but also
TO TREASURY: "NO REDUCTION IN INSPECTION
LEVELS" AND MAKE PENALTIES "QUICKER
The Health and Safety Commission have told the
Treasury's Hampton review on 'Regulatory Inspection
and Enforcement' that it does not consider it
appropriate to reduce the number of inspections
and concentrate more on advice and awareness-raising.
It also told the Review that it supports "any
moves" that would "make penalties quicker
BODY U-TURN ON PUBLIC SAFETY POLICY FORCED BY
CCA LEGAL ADVICE
Embargoed: 00.01 am, Wednesday, 16 March 2005
The Health and Safety Commission has been forced
to undertake a radical overhaul of a policy that
restricted its inspectors from enforcing health
and safety law in relation to public safety issues
after considering CCA legal advice that the policy
was 'unlawful' and fundamentally flawed.
SEVENTH OF FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS REFUSED
Embargoed: 00.01 am Friday 11 March 2005
The Health and Safety Executive has refused 14%
of all applications for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) in the
first two months of 2005, the CCA has learnt.
In another 15% of applications the HSE has only
provided partial disclosure. It has however provided
full disclosure in 34% of cases.
DUTIES: "LAW NOT CHARITY" CCA SAYS TO
Embargoed: 00.01 am Thursday 03 March 2005
The CCA is calling on MPs to support the Health
and Safety (Directors Duties) Bill which has its
second reading on Friday 4th March 2005. It has
written to all MPs setting out why they should
support the private members bill - arguing that
the bill will have a very positive impact upon
the safety of companies, without being too onerous
Director Prosecution Statistics Published
Embargoed: 00.01 am Thursday 24 February
Only 11 company directors have ever been convicted
of manslaughter following a work-related death,
research by the Centre for Corporate Accountability
reveals. Five of the directors were sentenced
to imprisonment, another five had a suspended
sentence and one was given a community service
order. In addition, between April 2002 and November
2004, only 27 directors are known to have been
convicted following a prosecution by the Health
and Safety Executive. 8 prosecutions involved
a death. Average fine was
INQUEST DISCLOSURE POLICY "FLAWED"
HSE's policy of prohibiting coroners from providing
bereaved families and their representatives copies
of statements and other investigation material
is "flawed" according to a legal opinion
obtained by the Centre for Corporate Accountability.
HSE argues that disclosure of witness statements
to bereaved families could jeopardise any possible
future proceedings. As a result it is HSE practice
to only provide coroners witness statements as
long as they agree not to
hand them over to third parties.
TO DECIDE ON ALLEGED 'UNLAWFULNESS' OF ITS PUBLIC
SAFETY POLICY THIS WEEK.
The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) will decide
on Tuesday 8th February whether to amend its restrictive
policy towards enforcing public safety duties
upon employers. Last year, legal advice sought
by the CCA concluded that the policy - adopted
in November 2003 - was 'unlawful'. The legal advice
was obtained after the Health and Safety Executive
(HSE) refused to investigate a number of deaths
of members of the public.
AND SAFETY COMMISSIONS LANGUAGE
OF ENFORCEMENT MISLEADING SAYS CCA
The wording that the Health and Safety Commission
(HSC) uses to describe the circumstances in which
it will enforce health and safety law is misleading
and needs amending, the Centre for Corporate
Accountability have said in a letter to the HSC.