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John Johnston www.healthandsafetytips.co.uk Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "John Johnston www.healthandsafetytips.co.uk Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 John Johnston Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

2 There is no such thing as a 'stupid' or 'daft' health and safety question! Health and Safety Law Health and safety law states that organisations must: provide a written health and safety policy (if they employ five or more people); assess risks to employees, customers, partners and any other people who could be affected by their activities; arrange for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of preventive and protective measures; ensure they have access to competent health and safety advice; consult employees about their risks at work and current preventive and protective measures.

3 There is no such thing as a 'stupid' or 'daft' health and safety question! Individual prosecutions currently in force under The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) –S.37 HSWA for Directors/Managers, S.7 HSWA for Employees. –Possible prison sentence for individuals on some H&S offences. Health and Safety (Offences) Act in force Jan 2009 Current maxima: –£5k or £20k for summary offence in lower courts, depending on offence; unlimited fine for indictable offence; –imprisonment not available for most offences (but up to 6 months in magistrates court / 2 years in Crown Court for few offences e.g, failing to comply with a prohibition notice or breaching a licensing requirement). New maxima: –£20k fines in lower courts for nearly all summary offences, unlimited fines in higher courts. –Imprisonment for nearly all offences – up to 12 months in Magistrates Courts and 2 years in the Crown Court. Health and Safety Law

4 There is no such thing as a 'stupid' or 'daft' health and safety question! Introduces new manslaughter offence for organisations. In force since 6 April The offence – –“Section 1(1): an organisation to which this section applies is guilty of an offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organised – –(a) causes a person’s death, and –(b) amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care owed by the organisation to the deceased.” Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

5 There is no such thing as a 'stupid' or 'daft' health and safety question! What are the Penalties? Unlimited fine Publicity order Remedial order Fines are expected to be: –5 to 10% of turnover (Transco £15m = less than 1% of turnover). –2.5% of turnover for offences that come under the HSWA. –Possible equity fines. Individual prosecutions will still remain under the HSWA –S.37 HSWA for Directors/Managers, S.7 HSWA for Employees. –Possible prison sentence for individuals.

6 There is no such thing as a 'stupid' or 'daft' health and safety question! Case Study 1 - Reliance Scrap Metal Merchants A Dorset scrap-metal company was fined and its director imprisoned following the death of an employee after a gas cylinder exploded – the circumstances of which the director tried to cover up. The scrap-metal company was found guilty of various breaches of the HSWA and was fined £60,000. Director, David Matthews changed his plea in the witness box from not guilty to guilty in relation to breaching two counts of: –S.37 of HSWA, with respect to the failure to discharge a duty of the HSWA. Matthews was fined £1,000 and sent to prison for three years for perverting the course of justice by trying to cover up the circumstances of the incident. Costs will be determined at a hearing on 20 October 2008 at Winchester Crown Court, in which the fine awarded against the company may be reduced.

7 There is no such thing as a 'stupid' or 'daft' health and safety question! Case Study 2 – Tebay Rail Incident On Sunday 15 February 2004 a runaway engineering trailer struck a group of railway workers on the West Coast Main Line at Tebay in Cumbria. Four men were killed and three others were injured. On 17 March 2006 Mr Roy Kennett was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter and a charge under section 7 of the HSWA. Mr Mark Connelly was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter and three HSWA charges. Mr Kennett received a two-year custodial sentence, and Mr Connelly received a nine-year custodial sentence.

8 There is no such thing as a 'stupid' or 'daft' health and safety question! Options for HSfB? INDG417 OR HSfB found guilty H&S firm first to be charged under corporate killing legislation.

9 There is no such thing as a 'stupid' or 'daft' health and safety question! HSfB GUILTY


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