BSIA calls for lone worker protection

11 March 2013


Posted by Samuel Couratin

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has called for new health and safety measures to protect lone workers.

It claims this will shield both staff and employers from potential corporate manslaughter claims, which can occur when deaths are deemed to be the result of management failures that demonstrate a gross breach of duty of care.

The BSIA has highlighted figures released by legal firm Pinsent Masons, which show the number of corporate manslaughter cases in 2012 rose considerably compared to 2011, growing from 45 to 60.

It also said the Crown Prosecution Service is putting increased focus on corporate manslaughter claims. This is a result of growing attention to the enforcement of the 2007 Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, which has a number of new cases in the pipeline.

In light of this, the BSIA has called for businesses to provide more protection for people who work alone or without direct supervision.

Patrick Dealtry, Chairman of the BSIA's Lone Worker Forum, commented: "Almost by definition, lone working can be both intimidating and at times dangerous, so the protection of lone workers involves a two-fold approach, not only to provide safeguards but also to offer reassurance to the people involved."

He added that providing staff who operate alone with a means of calling for help should be a "key element" of an organization's health and safety policy and will offer "reassurance that they are fulfilling their duty of care".

The BSIA claims close to ten per cent of the UK population work alone or without direct supervision and many of these people are in environments where they are potentially at risk.

Mr Dealtry added: "Any business employing lone workers should take heed of this latest research and ensure that they have robust solutions in place, both to protect lone workers, and to reduce the risk of prosecution should an incident occur."

Of the 141 corporate manslaughter cases that have opened since 2008, three have ended in convictions. A further 56 instances are currently being investigated for prosecution.

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