The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health said Act will drive improvement in health and safety standards

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) said that the Corporate Manslaughter Bill, which became law today, will act as a driver to improve health and safety standards.

Lisa Fowlie, IOSH President, said: “We are delighted that this important piece of legislation is now on the statute book, as it will help save lives by focusing decision-makers on the importance of health and safety. Culpable organisations that cause death through gross management failure, can expect severe fines, compulsory remedial orders and damage to their reputation if convicted.

“It’s a shame it has taken such a long time for this law to become reality. Tragically, thousands of families have lost love ones in workplace accidents over the decade it’s taken to get here. Arguably, if passed earlier, this Act could have prevented some of these deaths and if not, at least provided some sense of justice to the bereaved.

“Now we have the new Act, we must ensure everyone is fully aware of their health and safety responsibilities. That’s why IOSH has also repeatedly called for improved guidance and enforceable directors duties.”

Lisa added: “We welcome this legal reform, though believe it could still be strengthened in some areas. For instance, we’d like to see more thought given to innovative penalties for convicted organisations, such as a requirement for lasting health and safety improvement through retraining of senior managers, use of competent health and safety advice and steps to improve health and safety culture.”