The widely-trailed legislation will be targeted at companies themselves, which is the area of weakness in the current law. No new burdens will be placed on companies which already comply fully with Health and Safety legislation, the Home Office pledged.
Officials also insisted that the criminal liability of individual directors would not be targeted by the proposals.
Home secretary David Blunkett said: ‘There is great public concern at the criminal law’s lack of success in convicting companies of manslaughter where a death has occurred due to gross negligence by the organisation as a whole.
‘It is not targeted at conscientious companies that take their health and safety responsibilities seriously.’
A timetable for legislation and further details will be announced in the autumn. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents 350 people are killed every year in work-related accidents.
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