The Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 was introduced to make it easier to prosecute companies which caused someone's death by their gross negligence.
The Act was particularly focussed on the need to introduce a criminal offence which would catch large companies, particularly because of a number of failed prosecutions under the old law following high-profile disasters such as the Zeebrugge ferry disaster. In reality the old law of corporate manslaughter only ever caught small companies and so something had to be done to redress the balance.
There have been a number of prosecutions under the new Act, although it is notable that the majority if not all have been of small or medium sized businesses. To keep track of these developments we have produced a corporate manslaughter case tracker, which shows the cases prosecuted and those in which charges were not brought. A link to the case tracker is available here. We will periodically update this as cases develop.
We also regularly publish a Health and Safety Fines Bulletin, which summarise the levels of fines imposed following prosecutions under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. A link to these bulletins can be found here.
If you would like to understand more about these issues and the capabilities of our health and safety team then please do not hesitate to contact Rhys Griffiths on 020 7861 4546.
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