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Little known safety law could see construction managers jailed from January

A new law which has received little media attention could see construction managers jailed from January if one of their employees is hurt at work.

Company directors and managers are in the firing line thanks to the new Health and Safety Offences Act 2008, which will start on 16th January 2009.

Leading health and safety training company Pivotal Performance, which trains many construction managers is warning businesses to act now to ensure there are no health and safety risks facing their employees.

The new law makes employers personally accountable for the safety of their employees.

Breaches could see managers or directors jailed, or face Magistrates Court fines of up to £20,000.

Jane Gillham is a director of Pivotal Performance.

She said: “This law changes everything. While an accident involving an employee can already be a disastrous event, the punishment of the leaders of the business under this new law could see the business be forced to shut down.

“It means that employers must carefully manage the risk from everything their employees do, including things such as driving on company business. If an employee had an accident because they had been working long hours, their manager could be blamed as well.”

Jane added: “There is an opportunity now for all construction businesses to check they are properly up-to-date, have adequate staff trained and are leaving nothing to chance when it comes to health and safety at work.”

Pivotal Performance is one of the UK's leading health and safety training companies with offices in Northamptonshire and Scotland.

It has a unique way of training people called PPTplus, which teaches delegates how to win commitment from others, not just compliance.

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