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Work safety failures not just HR’s fault

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first_img Comments are closed. One early, high-profile and successful prosecution of a major businessfigure under a proposed law of corporate killing could be followed by a slumpin the accident statistics as business priorities are reassessed across theeconomy. This statement is from an article by the TUC’s general secretary and willsend a shudder down the spines of senior HR people in large corporations. The offence of corporate killing is proposed in the draft Safety Billpromised by the Home Office to be included in early legislation of the newParliament (see p1). Still up for discussion is whether the legislation willforce companies to nominate a director to be personally responsible for healthand safety or whether it will be a collective board responsibility. Any HR director will welcome steps to improve health and safety in a companyto protect their staff and the public. And this piece of legislation will meancompanies will have to review their approach to health and safety policies,test that they work and ensure managers can enforce it. But it is unfair that HR directors should shoulder all the burden ofresponsibility and then take the blame and punishment when things godrastically wrong. Why should a personnel director be disqualified from actingin a management role or, even worse, go to jail? A safety disaster could beblamed on the finance director who did not agree to spending on safety, orpinned on an operations director who failed to control workplace risk, ratherthan an HR director who did not oversee safety induction training. The HRmanager can drive health and safety but the whole management board should takecollective responsibility for it. Related posts:No related photos. Work safety failures not just HR’s faultOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more