This report will discuss the preventative strategies that can be used to reduce the risk of an organisation being held liable under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act (2007). In the event of a fatality, the investigation will focus on the management system and management involvement and therfore getting it right every time is the best defence against the risk of prosecution.
Firstly all employees must be aware of the provisions of the new Act and everyone should be sent a copy, or a summary of it, to all employees in the company and to new employees as part of induction. The company must utilise all communication channels to raise awareness of the Act.
The employer must ensure that all employees are aware of the consequences of breaching the Act, and that employees are aware of how to make enquiries or to report suspected breached of the Act. There should be copies made available of the Act to business partners (suppliers, customers etc.) and an explanation on how they need to comply.
A Health and safety manager should be appointed within the organisation. They are needed in a range of industries, from health care to construction. A health and safety manager may handle everything from keeping records on the handling of hazardous waste to training employees in safety procedures and that ensures that the company complies with the Act.
As an employer, you must assess and manage health and safety risks, whether you are a big business, a small business or just a one-person operation. Accidents and ill health can ruin lives and damage your business. A risk assessment is an important tool in protecting your workers and your business. It helps you focus on those risks that have the potential to cause harm. A review of your Safety management systems can best help prevent liability under the Act as these are a set of actions or procedures relating to health and safety in the workplace, put in place and actively endorsed by management to achieve the following identification, assessment and control of all workplace hazards and risks. An active involvement in health and safety matters with managers, supervisors and workers working together both formally and informally to improve health and safety.
A review of your Safety management systems can best help prevent liability under the Act as these are a set of actions or procedures relating to health and safety in the workplace, put in place and actively endorsed by management to achieve the following identification, assessment and control of all workplace hazards and risks. An active involvement in health and safety matters with managers, supervisors and workers working together both formally and informally to improve health and safety.
They also provide information and training for people at all levels so they can effectively meet their responsibilities. Designing and implementing company goals and objectives about health and safety will help prevent the organisation becoming liable under the Act. To meet this requirement, employers must ensure that safety management systems are in place and that responsibility has been allocated to managers, supervisors and workers in the organisation.
Promoting a Health and Safety Culture within your organisation is recognised as being the single key driver of health and safety performance. A top down approach reflects on people's collective beliefs and attitudes towards safety. This establishes a responsibility of your organisation's safety culture. This knowledge helps you predict and eliminate the sort of things that will cause an incident, because everyone understands how to eliminate bad working procedures which may result in prosecution under the Act.
Managers and supervisors are responsible for the establishment and maintenance of good health and safety practices. Work rules to assure good health and safety practices are to be promulgated and enforced including through the disciplinary process if necessary.
To be most effective, rules on health and safety practices should be clearly communicated to all employees through postings, meetings, training sessions, etc. Job descriptions and performance criteria should clearly state that good health and safety practices are part of the employees' job expectations. Performance appraisals should evaluate the employees' conformance to health and safety rules and recognise good health and safety practices.
Furthermore, each employee should be made to understand from the outset that failure to observe good health and safety practices may subject the employees to disciplinary action up to and including possible termination.
The role of discipline is to make an impression upon the employees the seriousness and importance of following instructions including the utilisation of good health and safety practices under the Act.
There are many ways in which an organisation can reduce the risk of being held liable to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act (2007). It is very important that companies take a top down approach and ensure at the systems and practices for carrying out the organisations work, level of employee training and adequacy of equipment, supervision and middle management, strategic approach and arrangements for risk assessing, monitoring and auditing the processes are all at a high standard. Any one or culmination of failings could result in a breach of the Act when a fatality occurs.