Many more health and safety prosecutions resulting from accidents at work are to take place before Inquest as a result of changes to an agreement between investigators and prosecutors of work-related deaths which aims to speed up the justice process in England and Wales.
Under the revised protocol, which takes effect on October 1st, prosecution before inquest where manslaughter or homicide charges are not relevant will be allowed, if it is considered appropriate and in the interest of justice.
Richard Daniels, chair of the Work Related Deaths National Liaison Committee (NLC), said that all signatories are committed to seeking justice for bereaved family members, when a work-related death has occurred and someone should be held to account.
“The NLC has worked closely with the Coroners’ Society to agree the changes and they support this swifter resolution of prosecutions in some cases. We also welcome the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Chief Fire Officers’ Association as formal signatories of the revised protocol,” he added.
Although the change is not mandatory and it is up to each signatory organisation to decide how they will implement it, he said it will help to deliver justice more effectively and sooner in less complex cases.
Posted by Verity Taylor
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