Patient safety, as well as the safety of staff and others, is likely to benefit from the imminent implementation of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act on 6 April 2008. From that date any death resulting from poor health and safety management is a potential candidate for a police and/or Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into ‘corporate manslaughter’. Such an investigation is likely to be traumatic for any healthcare organisation, involving very invasive reviews of safety management systems and overall organisational ‘safety culture’. If convicted of an offence under the Act, an organisation potentially faces a unlimited fine and significant loss of reputation. The best way to minimise the likelihoood of an organisation being prosecuted under the Act is to ensure compliance with relevant health and safety laws and regulations and to develop a culture of safety across the organisation. Further information including a 10-step action plan for healthcare organisations to ensure compliance with the Act is presented in the slideshow below, which was used by the Editor in a talk by him at a recent HSJ conference on preparing for the corporate manslaughter act (see Events page).