Criminal liability for violation of industrial safety requirements at hazardous production facilities: expanding the circle of responsible persons
«Industrial Safety» scientific-technical magazine (Issue 3, 2023) has published an article by Senior partner Ilya Lifshits, lawyer Anastasia Shatalova and advocate Nadejda Bakatina “Criminal liability for violation of industrial safety requirements at hazardous production facilities: expanding the circle of responsible persons”
The article analyzes the legal grounds for bringing top managers to criminal liability for a crime under Art. 217 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, namely for “violation of industrial safety requirements for hazardous production facilities”. Despite the fact that the description of the corpus delicti provided for in Art. 217 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation is rather concise – “violation of the requirements of industrial safety of hazardous industrial facilities”, investigative authority and courts have expanded the scope of this article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
In practice, the investigative authorities bring to criminal liability top managers of coal companies who have control functions and are empowered to issue orders to subordinate employees. The risks of bringing top managers to criminal liability for violating industrial safety requirements increase if such persons are authorized to coordinate or approve mining plans, field development projects, accident liquidation plans and other documents related to arranging of coal mining process and the security system.
In order to minimize the determined risks, the authors of the article based on judicial practice and personal experience, offer a number of recommendations for top managers and owners of the coal business including amending local regulations of enterprises and expert draft of company’s budget. One of the recommendation concerns the establishment of two or more sole executive bodies in the company with strictly regulated competence. Such reformation will improve the management and control system in the company and reduce the likelihood of bringing to criminal liability top managers who are not related to compliance with the industrial safety requirements of hazardous industrial facilities.