Corporate manslaughter directors duties and safety enforcement london 19 november 2007
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Corporate Manslaughter, Directors’ Duties and Safety Enforcement London, 19 November 2007. Responding to the Government’s Agenda Steve Tombs, Chair, CCA, and Prof. of Sociology, LJMU. Responding to the Government’s Agenda. 1. Corporate Manslaughter 2. Directors’ Duties

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Corporate Manslaughter, Directors’ Duties and Safety Enforcement London, 19 November 2007

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Corporate manslaughter directors duties and safety enforcement london 19 november 2007

Corporate Manslaughter, Directors’ Duties and Safety EnforcementLondon, 19 November 2007

Responding to the

Government’s Agenda

Steve Tombs, Chair, CCA,

and Prof. of Sociology, LJMU

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

1. Corporate Manslaughter

2. Directors’ Duties

3. The New Regulatory Code

4. Enforcement Policy Statement

5. Some Conclusions: Law and Enforcement?

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda1

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

  • Corporate Manslaughter

    Ten years on ….

    … positive aspects of the Act

    But limitations and omissions

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda2

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

2. Directors’ Duties

29/10/07: New HSE Guidance,

Leading Health and Safety at Work:

“written by directors, for directors”

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda3

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

  • breaks government promise of 2000

  • ignores limited impact of 2001 voluntary guidance

  • ignores evidence of HSE’s own research

  • ignores health and safety gains and increased

    accountability that would follow legal change

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda4

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

3. The New Regulatory Code

… “A Charter for Corporate Criminals” ?

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda5

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

3. The New Regulatory Code

Section 8: Compliance and Enforcement Actions

“The few businesses that persistently break

regulations should be identified quickly and face

proportionate and meaningful sanctions”

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda6

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

3. The New Regulatory Code

Section 8

“By facilitating compliance through a positive

and proactive approach, regulators can

achieve higher compliance rates and reduce

the need for reactive enforcement actions.”

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda7

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

3. The New Regulatory Code

Section 8

“Regulators should seek to reward those regulated

entities that have consistently achieved good levels

of compliance through positive incentives, including

lighter inspections and less onerous reporting

requirements, where risk assessment justifies this.”

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda8

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

3. The New Regulatory Code

Section 8

“Regulators should also take account of the

circumstances of small regulated entities,

including any difficulties they may have in

achieving compliance.”

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda9

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

3. The New Regulatory Code

Section 3: Economic Progress

“Regulators should recognise that a key element of

their activity will be to allow, or even encourage,

economic progress and only to intervene when there

is a clear case for protection.”

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda10

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

3. The New Regulatory Code

Section 6: Inspections

“Regulators should use only a small element

of random inspection in their programme to

test their risk methodologies.”

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda11

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

3. The New Regulatory Code

Para 1.3:

A “constructive and preventative approach” ..that

“help[s] and encourage[s] regulated entities to

understand and meet regulatory requirements”.

The investigation of work-related death and injury?

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda12

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

4. Enforcement Policy Statement

2003-2006 review: EPS “fit for purpose” …

  • more enforcement off the agenda?

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda13

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

4. Enforcement Policy Statement

  • HSE information base

  • HSE’s internal audit

    - should be prosecuting 3x as many cases

    - 16% of audited cases: over-lenient enforcement

    - no cases of “over-zealous” enforcement

Steve Tombs


Responding to the government s agenda14

Responding to the Government’s Agenda

5. Some Conclusions: Law and Enforcement?

Enforcement action:

necessary, if not sufficient, condition of effective regulation

Labour’s fixation with criminalisation … But:

  • seeking to prove itself as party of business

  • committed to most simplistic versions of ‘globalisation’

  • a knee-jerk antipathy to regulation

Steve Tombs


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