The Health and Safety (Offences) Act, the brainchild of Labour MP Keith Hill, gained royal assent on 16th October 2008 and will come into force in January 2009.
Under the new Act, employees, managers and company directors who fail to demonstrate compliance with health and safety regulations could now be subject to large fines and, in severe cases, a jail sentence of up to two years.
Cybit believes that the legislation will trigger further interest in the role of telematics in relation to work related road safety, as an increasing number of companies look to new technology in order to monitor their workforce. Vehicle Telematics can assist companies in managing compliance by providing remote visibility and data on driver behaviour.
Key advantages of the web-delivered tracking software include an ability to remotely monitor hours worked, time driven without breaks, speeding, harsh braking and acceleration as well as vehicle information available through CanBus integration, including vehicle axle weight and hazard warnings.
The British Safety Council is also in support of this Act. CEO Brian Nimick believes the Act; "highlights the importance of the use of best practice in the workplace and sends a very clear message to employers that neglecting health and safety regulation is not acceptable and will be punished."
John Wisdom, Sales and Marketing Director, Cybit, commented: "The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act made many organisations look harder at Health and Safety. This new Act allows for fleet managers and company Directors to be jailed for failings in this area. We believe this will drive renewed interest and, more importantly, action.
"Cybit's growth has previously been fuelled by a corporate need to manage costs, emissions and customer service. Recent parliamentary legislation, including April's Corporate Manslaughter Act and this latest private member's bill, provide further incentive for organisations to invest in technology to monitor their compliance. We believe that compliance is key to a successful business and telematics provides systematic procedures and exception reporting that enhances an organisation's ability to comply without any undue administrative burden".
Richard Horsman, Cybit's CEO added: "Cybit was first to market with a solution that specifically addressed the Health and Safety guidelines established by the Government and we remain one of the few companies in our market that has taken this step. We recognised some years ago the need for telematics to not only provide customers with a strong Return On Investment, but also to help them manage legislative compliance. In the next few months we will be delivering further enhancements in order to help our customers assess more easily and cost effectively the drivers who are putting their organisations at risk, and threatening fleet managers and Directors alike with prison sentences of up to two years".
The bill in full is published at:
A summary of the main provisions can be found at:
Main provisions of the bill:
- Makes a prison sentence an option for most Health and Safety offences in lower and higher courts
- Raises the maximum fine which may be imposed by the lower courts to 20,000 for most offences
- Makes certain offences that can currently only go to trial in lower courts, triable in either the lower or higher courts.
Cybit is a global force in Telematics, operating within three core sectors: Internet-based vehicle Telematics solutions; Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) Management; and Private Mobile Radio (PMR) based asset tracking and precise positioning solutions.
In the vehicle Telematics sector, Cybit is one of Europe's leading Telematics Service Providers (TSPs). More than 1,700 business-to-business clients use the company's fleet and asset management solutions to manage in excess of 45,000 assets primarily in the public sector, service industries and logistics and distribution markets. Solutions include in-vehicle technologies, workflow management, CanBus integration and Internet-based monitoring and reporting software. The company also provides consulting services to advise on operational and legal issues such as duty of care and working hours.
Cybit is also a global leader in the field of EEZ fisheries management, tracking many thousands of fishing vessels on a daily basis. The company provides vessel monitoring and catch management solutions for many of the world's major fishing nations. As well as EC governments including the UK, Ireland and Greece, Cybit helps to manage valuable fishing stocks for emerging nations such as Ghana, Namibia and Mozambique.
Cybit's PMR business provides asset-tracking and precise positioning solutions for both maritime and land-based applications including exploration and mining. Its precise positioning solutions are in constant use in the location and exploitation of oil, gas and mineral reserves around the globe.