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Failures by firms to ensure the safety of their workers resulting in fatalities, which could include the failure to provide personal protective equipment, will face the damaging effects of negative publicity as a result of the new Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

A Lords amendment of the act means that guilty firms can suffer a publicity order, which means they have to publicise the conviction, the reasons for it and the size of any fine levied, Personnel Today reports.

However, no individuals can be charged under the act.

A proposal to make individual managers criminally responsible - with jail terms - for fatalities resulting from health and safety failures was one of five points in a plan to try to reduce construction industry deaths set out by Nigel Clapham MP last month, Contract Journal reported.

Mr Clapham set out his ideas in response to news that 79 construction deaths had occurred over the year 2006-07.

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