As convictions under the Corporate Manslaughter Act begin to increase, it would seem now is a good time to investigate further into what the Corporate Manslaughter Act is and how the law works, especially in relation to employers.
The Corporate Manslaughter Act was brought in to effect as an act of parliament on the 6th April 2008. It was designed to deal with situations where a lack of health and safety provision from a company has led to a fatality in the workplace. The act aims to bring an end to situations where corporations were able to avoid prosecution for health and safety failings through legal accountability loopholes.
The first conviction under the Corporate Manslaughter Act was handed down to Cotswold Geotechnical in 2008. After this first conviction, many in the industry felt that the floodgates may have been opened and more convictions would fall into place, however in reality, progress and greater accountability have been slow to arrive.
There are signs that the tide may be changing however and we at Peoplesafe have been following the changes carefully. In the last three years, there have been a number of cases where directors of small companies have been fined or imprisoned for failing to provide adequate health and safety provision to their workers. These convictions underline the importance of maintaining health and safety standards throughout the culture of a company, something that the Peoplesafe service can provide great assistance in.
As the Corporate Manslaughter Act becomes older and more established, the likelihood of a large company being convicted increases. The previous environment of ‘corporate anonymity’ has been removed and there is a real prospect that a senior figure from a large company or organisation could face jail in the near future. It is thought by many that if this were to occur, this would be the real breakthrough for the act, but you can’t help but feel that it is a shame that a breakthrough should be needed at all. The Corporate Manslaughter Act can only be enforced when negligence relating to health and safety procedure occurs, and in an ideal this would never be the case.
The Lone Worker service provided by Peoplesafe can go a long way in assisting corporate health and safety responsibility and creating a culture of good practice in an organisation. It is of course true that accidents at work will always happen, although by increasing awareness and best practice they can be greatly reduced, and the physical and emotional weight of responsibility can be removed from company directors.
How do you feel about the Corporate Manslaughter Act? What steps have you or your business taken to increase health and safety provision and provide clear accountability?
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The 999 service was first set up on the 30th June 1937 to give operators a way of separating out emergency calls from routine police reports.
By 1968 more than a million 999 calls were made for all the emergency services across the UK. Last year, the number was dialled 37 million times.
In any emergency situation time is of the essence and a few vital seconds wasted could be the difference between life and death. Over the last eight years personal safety devices have come to the forefront of lone worker protection and are now proven to reduce response times to incidents which have been reported through the device in comparison to using the 999 service.
When 999 is dialled, the operator does not have any information regarding the caller, their location and what the problem is, relaying all this information takes up valuable time. When answering an alarm which has been raised using a lone worker device, the operator at the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) knows immediately who is calling, where they are and if they have done anything in the run up to the incident.
The reason they know this is that all lone worker devices are assigned to a single user. As soon as they press the alarm, all the information on the user is displayed to an operator at the ARC.
Lone Worker Services which are accredited to BS8484 have the authorisation to then contact Police Control Rooms directly through Unique Reference Numbers. This system bypasses the 999 service helping to speed up response times.
All of Peoplesafe’s Lone Worker devices also allow a user to leave messages, called Amber Alerts, which can, for example, be used to provide address details of where a user is going and what time they expect the leave the property. This allows the ARC to provide even more detailed information to a Police Control Room in the event of an incident, again helping to speed up emergency response times.
Lone Worker devices which are supplied as part of a BS8484 solutions allow an emergency escalation on level higher that a 999 call. So in essence using a device is better than calling 999.
The Identicom 8-Series is the newest device to arrive into the lone worker safety market and Peoplesafe is ready to bring its many years of service experience to bear on this new product.
Formed in 2004, Peoplesafe were the first company in the UK to launch a Lone Worker Service with the award winning lone worker device the Identicom. Since this time Peoplesafe have worked closely with the manufacturer and developer of the Identicom and are 1 of only 3 Elite Partners in the UK.
Peoplesafe were also awarded the NSI Guarding Gold Scheme in 2012, which means that Peoplesafe work to the highest industry standards. This levels allows Peoplesafe to meet ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard, giving our customers peace of mind that they are given the highest quality lone worker service available.
Outside of the NHS, Peoplesafe are proud to be the largest provider of Identicom devices in the UK, providing lone worker solutions to more than 10,000 clients.
Our strategic partner, Connexion 2, have announced this month the launch of the next generation of their lone worker device, the Identicom 8 Series. In line with the 7 Series, the 8 Series is designed to look like an identity badge allowing for discreet wear and use by a lone worker.
After a period of thorough field testing and integration Peoplesafe is readying for delivery to customers on the 7th January 2013.
Arguably the most significant improvement with the 8 Series Identicom is its capability to configure either one or way two way audio. The 8 Series Identicom is now also using SiRF IV GPS Technology to enable a quicker time to first fix and can gain a location fix even if GPS signals are weak.
Together with the Peoplesafe lone worker service, the 8 Series will offer our clients even more choice and flexibility when working with us to select the most appropriate lone worker device for their needs.
“Our goal at Peoplesafe is to give our clients the best end-to-end lone worker service possible and to maintain our position as the Service Leader in the lone worker industry. Peoplesafe will only introduce the 8 Series Identicom once we are 100% satisfied our integrity can be maintained.” Commented Ian Johannessen, Managing Director at Peoplesafe.
Craig Swallow, Managing Director of Connexion2 commented: “We are delighted to be delivering the next generation Identicom to our Elite Partner, Peoplesafe. In the hands of Peoplesafe we believe the 8 Series will give market leading lone worker services.”
Manor Estates Housing Association has decided for the fourth year running to place the safety of their lone workers in Peoplesafe’s hands.
Manor Estates HA, which is part of the Rowan Group, builds, manages and maintains more than 960 properties to rent throughout the whole of Edinburgh. Peoplesafe’s lone worker service provides Manor Estates’ Housing Officers and Maintenance staff with a comprehensive lone worker service.
Manor Estates public facing staff may have little background information on the people they are meeting and can often be placed in challenging situations where they can face verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis. The lone worker service provided by Peoplesafe allows the user to leave a recorded message, called an Amber Alert, outlining with whom and where they are meeting and what their expected completion time is with an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).
Should the lone worker not cancel this Amber Alert or if the time over runs, then a Red Alert will be raised, allowing a member of staff at the ARC to discreetly listen in via the lone working device to what is happening and then makes an assessment as to what level of assistance is required by the user.
The Red Alert button can also be used at any time should the lone worker feel threatened in anyway, again this will be dealt with by the ARC and if necessary the police can become involved.
Carolyn Hughes, Deputy Director at Manor Estates is a lone working safety champion. Carolyn is passionate about the welfare of her lone working employees and ensures that the Peoplesafe system is proactively used throughout the working day by her public facing staff to ensure best practice and confident and consistent usage of the lone worker service.
“At Manor Estates we put the safety and welfare of our employees at the forefront of our minds. It is fundamental that our staff can undertake their jobs without fear of verbal or physical abuse or even becoming ill during their day. I am confident that should a member of my team need assistance in a threatening or emergency situation then the Peoplesafe service will respond and react quickly, providing my staff with a vital lifeline.” commented Carolyn Hughes.
“The Peoplesafe service enables Manor Estates to demonstrate a tangible duty of care to its lone working employees. Their lone working policy is a model by which all other Housing Associations should benchmark themselves.” said Ian Johannessen, Managing Director at Peoplesafe.
Peoplesafe, independent experts in lone worker safety, have added Peoplesafe Vision to their product portfolio.
Vision is a dynamic lone worker reporting tool designed to enhance the management and supervision of lone workers. Through live updates from a lone worker device or application, Vision provides a fully managed and intuitive service that gives managers access to real time information about the locations, activities and security events of their lone workers.
Vision enables a manager to quickly and effectively locate their lone workers and help manage risks and potential threats to staff during their working day, improving the effectiveness and support to the manager during any incident.
“It is recognised that organisations need to have complete visibility of where their lone workers are at any time and if they need assistance because of a potentially threatening situation. Vision gives a manager access to live information, allowing them to see if an employee has raised an alert and also to confirm their location through GPS, ensuring assistance is provided as quickly as possible.” said Ian Johannessen, Managing Director at Peoplesafe.
When an employee raises a Red Alert, their lone worker device or application will raise an alarm with the Peoplesafe Emergency Response Centre. Trained operators will listen into the situation, locate the user and if needed arrange for emergency assistance. Vision will immediately inform a manager through live data feeds of a Red Alert situation providing complete visibility of the incident.
Peoplesafe are proud to announce they have been awarded the NSI Guarding Gold Scheme and are the only Lone Working Service provider to have done so.
The NSI is the specialist approvals and certification body that inspects companies providing security services, ensuring they meet industry standards like security screening all relevant staff and meeting British and European Standards for technical performance.
David Hart, Client Services Manager at Peoplesafe, commented: ‘Peoplesafe have worked really hard to be able to provide customers with this kind of industry standard service and are proud to have been awarded the Gold Standard Certification.’
Being awarded the Gold Standard means that Peoplesafe work to the highest recognised industry standards. This level allows the organisation to meet ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard, giving its customers piece of mind that they are given the highest quality lone worker service.
Adactus Housing Association has chosen Peoplesafe’s NIS Gold, BS8484 Lone Worker Service and the Identicom device to protect more than 100 of its lone working staff. The social landlord plans to use Peoplesafe’s service to protect a range of its employees that are frequently out and about working on their own. The staff that will benefit from this service include Caretakers, Out of Hours Repair Staff, Support Workers and Neighbourhood Officers amongst others.
These employees work out in the community and may have little knowledge on the people they are meeting and can often be placed in challenging situations where they can face verbal or physical abuse on a daily basis. Their out of hours repair staff face the same risks but also they run the risk of having an accident whilst working at height.
The lone worker service provided by Peoplesafe allows the user to leave a recorded message, called an Amber Alert, outlining with who and where they are meeting and what their expected completion time is with an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). Should the lone worker not cancel with Amber Alert or if the time over runs, then a Red Alert will be raised, allowing a member of staff at the ARC to discreetly listen in via the Identicom to what is happening and then make an assessment as to what level of assistance is required by the user.
The Red Alert button can also be used at any time should the lone worker feel threatened in anyway. Again, this will be dealt with by the ARC and if necessary a guaranteed Police response can be called upon.
The Identicom device also has GPS and Man Down technology which allows all staff to be instantly located and also protects staff if they have a slip, trip or fall and are unable to summon for help as the device will automatically issue a Red Alert to the ARC.
Darren Smith, Group Health and Safety Manager at Adactus HA, chose Peoplesafe to protect their lone workers because they felt Peoplesafe offered a valuable service at a competitive price. “ Adactus chose the Peoplesafe Lone Worker Service and the Identicom devices as we felt it was one of the best lone worker solutions in the market place.” Commented Darren Smith.
“ The Peoplesafe Service, coupled with the Identicom device enables Adactus to offer their Public Facing Lone Workers real peace of mind when working alone. Their staff know that if required they can quickly get support and if required a guaranteed police response, providing a vital lifeline.” Commented Ian Johannessen, Managing Director at Peoplesafe.