Forget corporate manslaughter – safety’s the issue

Oxford, UK: Companies should not be distracted from safety management by headline news about the new offence of corporate manslaughter says lawyer,  Emma Davies at law firm Manches LLP.

“The focus on ‘corporate manslaughter’ can therefore be unhelpful because it distracts from awareness of other possible offences and arguably safety generally. Businesses need to focus on their management approach to health and safety, and their practical strategy for first avoiding, or then learning from, safety incidents,” she says.

The offence of ‘corporate manslaughter’ was introduced in April 2008, redefining the notoriously unsuccessful offence of manslaughter by gross negligence for companies (although that offence still exists for private individuals).
“It should be remembered that corporate manslaughter is therefore assessed by reference to existing health and safety laws – although a new offence, it did not change the substantive law,” Davies says.

“There have been three prosecutions for corporate manslaughter in 4 years, and yet over 250 workers die every year in work-related accidents; so it is clear that not every death results in a prosecution for corporate manslaughter. With so few cases being brought, it is difficult to pinpoint why this is.”

“What is clear is that there are many prosecutions under s.2(1) Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) and its associated legislation – and the fines in these cases can be higher than for corporate manslaughter. The Sentencing Council’s Guidelines make it clear that where a breach of the HSWA is shown to have caused death, the appropriate fine will seldom be less than £100,000 and may be measured in hundreds of thousands of pounds or more.”

In practice there is a wide variance in fines dependent on the specifics of the case. The HSE will prosecute where companies have failed to heed warnings or failed to learn from similar previous incidents. Such circumstances will usually lead to higher fines too: in May 2012 a company that had two fatalities in separate incidents a year apart, but in very similar circumstances, was fined £118,500.

WORLD NEWS

Arla gets keys to sustainable transport

Gothenburg, Sweden: Arla has taken a step further towards a fossil-free future with Scania’s symbolic handover of vehicle keys to signify a deal to provide …

READ THE FULL STORY >

Carrier Transicold unveils new Vector fridge

Rueil-Malmaison, France: Carrier Transicold Europe launched its next generation temperature-controlled trailer system – the Vector HE 19 (High Efficiency) at the IAA Commercial Vehicle show. …

READ THE FULL STORY >

Associated Wholesale Grocers uses Orbcomm reefer monitoring

Rochelle Park, New Jersey, USA: Associated Wholesale Grocers is monitoring its refrigerated and dry trailer fleet with with Orbcomm hardware and cloud-based analytics platform. Associated …

READ THE FULL STORY >

European truck sales rise

Brussels, Belgium: Commercial vehicle registrations in the main European markets rose 7.3% in August, continuing a trends throughout the summer, according to the European Automobile …

READ THE FULL STORY >

WHAT’S ON

Latest Tweets

SOR trailers for Culina: bit.ly/2C4jKxb

© 2018 Global Cold Chain News | Terms of use | Privacy Policy
Commercial Transport Publishing Limited, registered in England and Wales, Company No: 6453302. Registered Office: 6 Corunna Court, Corunna Road, Warwick CV34 5HQ