Legal driver for IT projects

Legal driver for IT projects

IT could help firms prove duty of care

IT departments should take a lead in bolstering enterprise efforts to comply with new corporate manslaughter laws, which come in to force next week, legal experts have advised.

The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act, which comes into force on 6 April, tightens rules governing deaths at work. In cases of corporate negligence, senior managers and directors could face prison sentences.

"Employers have a legal duty to do everything reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of their employees," explained Kevin Elliott, a partner at law firm Eversheds. "Where employees are required to carry out duties that expose them to risk, particularly in areas where they may be working alone, employers may well need to supply equipment to their employees that either reduce that risk, or will alert others when the risk occurs."

Location-monitoring capabilities in high risk mobile workers' devices could help organisations prove they have shown a duty of care to their employees, according to David Perry, director of mobile management firm Cognito.

Firms could also install panic buttons on devices which could be triggered by mobile workers if they happen to get into trouble, he added.

"This is an opportunity for companies to prove how seriously they take the well-being of staff," said Perry.