First Conviction Under Corporates Manslaughter Act

Wednesday, 16. March 2011

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

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The first case brought under the Corporate Manslaughter Act has given businesses of all sizes cause for concern. Especially as the new Health and Safety at Work Act makes it even easier to bring prosecutions. In the first case Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings were convicted of the death of 27 year old geologist Alex Wright who died in September 2008 when a trench in which he was working collapsed. As a result of the prosecution the company was fined £385,000, equating to 116% of the firms annual turnover.

But this very sad case has highlighted the general lack of care shown by companies towards employees especially in the area of road related deaths and injuries. The prosecution, as well as the size of the fine should make all companies sit up and take note according to Roger Bibbings of RoSPA.

This first case involved a small firm so we haven’t yet seen the potential impact this could have on larger firms. But according to David Faithful, lawyer for Essential Risk Consultancy ‘Many companies are woefully under protected when it comes to driver risk.’

Clearly road risk is one of the biggest given the fact that 25% of the deaths on the roads in the UK are believed to involve at-work drivers. It is estimated that 300 involve company cars and 300 involve company vans. In addition RoSPA has estimated that up to a third of road injuries involve somebody who is at work.

Applying the percentages to the latest figures this amounts to 740 road deaths involving people whilst at work and 8,230 serious injuries. If you have a business and you have employees who drive as part of their job how up to date are your Health and Safety rules? And don’t forget the same rules apply if the driver uses his own car.

Bald tyres and poorly serviced cars are the responsibility of the employer even when the car isn’t owned by the company. Are you up to speed with the latest legislation as a driver or employer – if not I’d ask a few questions pretty damned quickly. By Graham Hill

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