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NCJ Number: 52243 Find in a Library
Title: CRIMINALS AT WORK
Journal: CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW  Dated:(MAY 1978)  Pages:280-286
Author(s): D KLOSS
Corporate Author: Sweet and Maxwell
Marketing Director
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Sweet and Maxwell
London, NW3 3PF, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE THRUST AND OPERATION OF ENGLAND'S 1974 HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK ACT ARE EXPLAINED AND DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK ACT PASSED IN ENGLAND IN 1974 IS CONSIDERED TO REPRESENT A REVOLUTION IN SAFETY IN A NUMBER OF RESPECTS, THE PRINCIPAL ONE BEING THAT THE DUTIES IT IMPOSES FALL UPON ALL EMPLOYERS IN ALL PLACES OF WORK. CRIMINAL LIABILITY IS INCURRED WHEN EMPLOYERS FAIL TO ENSURE, SO FAR AS IS 'REASONABLY PRACTICABLE,' THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE AT WORK OF ALL THEIR EMPLOYEES. PROCEDURES TO PROVIDE SAFETY ARE SPECIFIED IN THE STATUTE. THE ACT ALSO IMPOSES DUTIES ON EACH EMPLOYEE WHILE AT WORK TO TAKE REASONABLE CARE FOR THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF HIMSELF AND OTHER PERSONS WHO MAY BE AFFECTED BY HIS ACTS AND OMISSIONS AT WORK. PENALTIES UNDER THE ACT VARY ACCORDING TO THE OFFENSE, AND SOME OFFENSES ARE PUNISHABLE ON SUMMARY CONVICTION BY A FINE NOT EXCEEDING 400 POUNDS AND ON CONVICTION ON INDICTMENT BY AN UNLIMITED FINE OR A TERM OF IMPRISONMENT NOT EXCEEDING 2 YEARS, OR BOTH. THE PRINCIPAL METHOD OF ENFORCEMENT HAS BEEN THE USE BY INSPECTORS OF THEIR NEW POWERS TO ISSUE IMPROVEMENT NOTICES AND PROHIBITION NOTICES. THE IMPROVEMENT NOTICE DIRECTS THE EMPLOYER TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS IN A HAZARDOUS CONDITION WITHIN A SPECIFIED PERIOD, AND THE PROHIBITION NOTICE TERMINATES ACTIVITIES WHICH CARRY SERIOUS RISK OF PERSONAL INJURY UNTIL CONDITIONS ARE MADE SAFE. APPEAL OF THESE NOTICES IS POSSIBLE. IT IS INDICATED THAT SAFETY INSPECTORS AS A MATTER OF POLICY DO NOT BRING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS EXCEPT WHERE VIOLATIONS ARE EXTREMELY GRAVE OR RECALCITRANT. IT IS INDICATED THAT A PRIMARY REASON THE NEW LEGISLATION HAS CAUSED DISQUIET IN INDUSTRY IS THAT IT IMPOSES CRIMINAL LIABILITY NOT ONLY ON THE CORPORATE OR INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYER BUT ON EACH EMPLOYEE. CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE PROSECUTED ARE EXPLAINED. A SPECIFIC CASE WHERE AN EMPLOYEE AS WELL AS AN EMPLOYER WAS CHARGED WITH A VIOLATION IS DESCRIBED. THE HOPE IS EXPRESSED THAT THIS ANXIETY AMONG EMPLOYEES STEMMING FROM LIABILITY IMPOSED UNDER THE NEW ACT WILL LEAD TO A MORE CONSCIENTIOUS ATTENTION TO SAFETY MATTERS. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Criminal responsibility; England; Laws and Statutes; Occupational safety and health
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52243

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