News – HSE Policy
In just over two months’ time, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 will come into force. This imposes on companies a duty of care to ensure that all employees fully understand health and safety policies, as senior managers will be held personally culpable if such policies have been neglected. Importantly, this requirement applies irrespective of whether the employee understands English. David Bentley-Miller, managing director of a specialist employment-law firm, has remarked, ‘It is astonishing how often you see companies that have a state-of-the-art health and safety system that is written in English, then a full Polish workforce who are unable to understand a word.‘. Ethos Recycling Ltd, for example, was fined £35,000 after an employee who spoke little English entered a prohibited area and suffered an accident. Zameer Bhunnoo, the HSE investigating inspector, said, With the increase of foreign workers in Britain, it is essential that companies who need their skills take care to ensure workers fully understand what is required of them, and how to avoid risks in the workplace.’.
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