The new Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act will mean that company directors and senior managers will be facing increased scrutiny in the event of a work-related death.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), work-related deaths that are the result of gross corporate failures will be subject to criminal law, with changes to corporate manslaughter law including unlimited fines, tighter sanctions and remedial orders against firms.

The act, which came into force on April 6th, will enable authorities to scrutinise the behaviour of senior managers and executives, examine management systems, identify health and safety failures and prosecute organisations for corporate manslaughter.

Roger Bibbings, RoSPA occupational safety advisor, warned: "If anyone dies as a result of gross corporate failings, directors who do not take safety seriously enough will find themselves in the firing line. Those organisations that have not assured themselves that they have proper corporate governance of safety in place need to take action."

RoSPA is a registered charity that campaigns and provides advice on safety and the prevention of accidents in all areas of life, including workplaces, homes and roads in the UK.