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Corporate manslaughter law comes into force

Motor sector businesses will need to keep health and safety management systems under constant review to avoid falling foul of the new corporate manslaughter law coming into force from April, warned the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF).

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act will come into force on 6 April 2008 and from that point company directors and other senior staff members could face prosecution if it can be proven that their gross negligence helped to cause a death.

The new offence will be linked to existing health and safety requirements.

Commenting on the new law, RMIF Chairman Alec Murray said: "Workshop safety standards are of paramount importance for our industry, as they protect staff, and ensure that work is performed properly.

"For many retail motor sector businesses, the new law will provide a framework for the safety practices that they already employ. However, there are some that may still not be aware that from next month that the business itself may be held liable if a staff member is hurt at work.

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