Sinn Féin to publish Corporate Manslaughter legislation - Morgan
Sinn Féin Worker’s Rights spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has committed Sinn Féin to publishing corporate manslaughter legislation before the next election. He was speaking after the Taoiseach again told the Dáil this afternoon, in response to questioning from Deputy Morgan, that no such legislation was planned by the Government.
The Louth TD said: “In 2005, 88 people lost their lives in work related accidents in Ireland, 73 in the South and 15 in the North. Corporate Manslaughter legislation, already in place in many countries, is a key tool in the battle to reduce workplace accidents and fatalities. I have repeatedly raised this issue in Leinster House with the Taoiseach and with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
“Corporate manslaughter legislation, albeit imperfect in form, is currently going through the Westminster parliament and my colleagues in the Six County Assembly raised the issue there yesterday. The Law Reform Commission proposed the introduction of such legislation here in 2005 but the Government is completely close minded on the matter.
“Scores of people are dieing in their workplaces every year while their employers escape any serious punishment. In 2005 only 40 employers were prosecuted for breaches of Health and Safety law and the average fine was an insulting and truly pathetic €7,000. Hardly a deterrent, it serves more as a nod and a wink from this Government to workplace safety violations. No Irish employer has served a day in prison for criminal negligence resulting in the death of an employee.
“In the coming months, Sinn Féin will propose in the Dáil our own draft legislation on corporate manslaughter. We would welcome not just support from other parties and the broad trade union movement, but also constructive criticism of our proposals to ensure our proposals are strong enough, and the deterrents tough enough, to make a real difference in tackling the numbers of workplace fatalities.”