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Corporate manslaughter - what do you know?

22 January 2008

The Corporate Manslaughter Act has been carefully drafted to lead to successful prosecutions but are FMs aware of its terms and consequences? PFM and EMS are surveying FMs to highlight the problem.

The Corporate Manslaughter Act has been carefully drafted to ensure successful prosecutions, claimed Kathryn Gilbertson, at one of two packed seminars organized by environmental and H&S consultants, EMS. Gilbertson, Head of Business Defence at Greenwood Solicitors speaks from experience from her successful defence of Gillian Beckingham following the Barrow in Furness fatal legionnella outbreak. She said, “the Government expects there to be about 12 prosecutions a year under the Act, but this is not likely to be true since there are about 250 workplace deaths each year and enforcement officers are keen to prosecute.”

Outlining the key terms of the new Act which comes into effect in April, she explained that although there are no new laws and obligations, the Act has removed the obstacles that had prevented large organisations from being successfully prosecuted to workplace deaths in the past. From April the Police and HSE will investigate every workplace fatality to determine whether the organization has breached ‘reasonable standards’ of health & safety, and the CPS will decide whether to prosecute. The Act also covers the 800-1000 fatalities each year on the roads that are ‘work related’ – that’s one third of all road accident fatalities and many more than the 250 work related accidents currently recorded the majority of which occur in the construction and service sectors.

How much do you know enough about this Act? EMS and PFM are conducting an awareness survey to find out how much people know about the Corporate Manslaughter Act and what their responsibilities and obligations will be. Please visit www.ems-online.co.uk and complete the short 10 point questionnaire which will inform an expert article on the subject in the April issue of PFM.


that’s one third of all road accident fatalities and many more than the 250 work related accidents currently recorded the majority of which occur in the construction and service sectors.

How much do you know enough about this Act? EMS and PFM are conducting an awareness survey to find out how much people know about the Corporate Manslaughter Act and what their responsibilities and obligations will be. Please visit www.ems-online.co.uk and complete the short 10 point questionnaire which will inform an expert article on the subject in the April issue of PFM. officers are keen to prosecute.”
Outlining the key terms of the new Act which comes into effect in April, she explained that although there are no new laws and obligations, the Act has removed the obstacles that had prevented large organisations
from being successfully prosecuted to workplace deaths in the past. From April the Police and HSE will investigate every workplace fatality to determine whether the organization has breached ‘reasonable standards’ of health & safety, and the CPS will decide whether to prosecute.

The survey can be found at www.ems-online.co.uk/survey/corp_manslaughter.php


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