Businesses in the UK are unprepared for the implementation of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bills which are due to come into force on April 6th, it has been suggested.

Under the new laws, companies will face action when a serious breach in health and safety management procedures mean that the duty of care is not met and a death occurs.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned firms that if they lack the correct number or appropriate category of first aiders, they are seriously at risk of prosecution.

"Should a fatality in the workplace occur, the onus will now be placed on the individual organisation to prove that an effective health and safety policy exists, is clearly communicated and competently implemented," the HSE stated.

Set up to assist the Health and Safety Commission, the HSE aims to ensure that risks to people’s health and safety that arise from work activities are properly controlled.