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Corporate Manslaughter – a business risk worth ignoring?

Category: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards Twitter | Published on: Feb 20, 2013 | Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Read more: Health & Safety

Corporate ManslaughterSince the introduction of the Corporate manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 in the UK, there have only been three successful prosecutions. So you may think that this Act is unlikely to be relevant to your business operations. However, you may need to think again.

The number of corporate manslaughter cases opened by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for England and Wales has risen by almost 20 in each of the years since the legislation came into force.

The CPS opened 63 new corporate manslaughter cases last year – an increase of 40 per cent, from 45 in 2011. In 2009 – the first full year of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 – there were seven investigations, which rose to 26 in 2010.

According to the Safety and Health Practitioner, the CPS has opened 141 corporate manslaughter cases since records began in 2009. In all, 56 cases are currently being investigated for prosecution – raising the prospect of further convictions to add to the three concluded since the Act came into force.

In recent BBC News, the Gleision Mine Disaster has again highlighted this topic. MNS Mining Ltd will be charged on four counts of Corporate Manslaughter and the Mine Manager is to be charged separately with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

So there is no reason for complacency and businesses need to ensure that they have arrangements in place for the management of safety and health risks arising in their workplaces and operational activities. Failure to do this could leave a business open to prosecution in the event of a fatality.

In the light of the current economic climate it is understandable that businesses are looking for areas in which to make financial savings. However, to make cuts that might adversely impact on safety is a business risk that may not be worth taking.

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If you need to call upon our expertise in Health and Safety Consulting, or just for informal Health and Safety advice, please call me on: mobile 0780 361 2948, office 0207 947 9581, or drop me a line at b.richards@arinite.com.

Bryan Richards 19th February 2013

Arinite Ltd, Warnford Court, 29 Throgmorton Street, London EC2N 2AT

 
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