Changes in Work Related Deaths Protocol aim to rectify the defects in the legal procedure and wish to increase the pace of the proceedings.

Currently no charges can be made when it comes to health and safety related offences before a legal inquiry is completed. The highlight of the process is that it will change this procedure and making charges before the inquiry would be made possible.

A committee that will administer the change includes the police, the Health and Safety Executive, the Local Government Association and representatives of the Crown Prosecution Service. It is known as the National Liaison Committee.

The union points out that due to the delay in the proceedings the firms are able to escape the conviction as they create a new firm working on the previous company’s principal under a different name. They stress on the fact that the introduction of statutory director duties would help in convicting the firm in a better and an effective way. It ensures that the director of the firm, which is guilty of the fatal accident, would be held and a custodial sentence could be passed against him.

UCATT explains the need for a better judicial procedure as the reports suggest that only a mere 30% cases have resulted with convicting the firms out of the many that are still pending. The HSE learnt that there are many incidents where the death of the worker was a result of the poor functioning of the management but the proceedings of many are yet to result in the conviction of the firm. They also disapprove of the measly fine of a few thousand pounds charged as a conviction.