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Employers will have to be more aware of their health and safety responsibilities next year when a new law on corporate responsibility for safety comes into force, a lawyer has warned.

Steffan Groch, a health and safety partner at law firm DWF told Motor Trader the recently passed Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homocide Act, which is due to receive Royal Assent in the new year, will increase the stress of the management of companies to ensure all provisions of health and safety are adhered to.

This will mean workplace deaths bring an increased prospect of prosecution.

He said: 'The new offence will lead to the behaviour of management coming under much greater scrutiny than before.'

In particular, it will make it easier to convict larger companies where management is more distant from the implementation of processes.

The new law may have significant implications for the PPE industry, as the stress to ensure the right equipment is provided will be greater.

Under the act, it is the company, not an individual, which will be liable to prosecution, the latter point being stressed by section 18 of the act.

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