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What is ‘Corporate Manslaughter’?

Corporate manslaughter is a crime that is committed by a company in relation to a work-related death.

The Corporate Manslaughter Bill and Corporate Homicide Act were implemented on 6th April 2008. The new law means that organisations not individuals can be prosecuted where a safety failure is the cause of a work related death. (Under the new act it no longer needs to be the sole cause of death). Such cases will not be limited to fatal accidents in the workplace, but will also include cases of deaths on the road.

Driving, as part of the job is the most dangerous work related activity performed by employees in the UK. 95% of all road accidents are caused by human error and it is estimated that a third of these accidents in the UK involve someone driving for work.

If you are a company director or manager you have a corporate responsibility for the safety of your employees and the risks to which they are exposed.

Failure to do so could lead to a business being publicly named and shamed, and fined up to 10% of its annual turnover should a death occur as a result of “gross managements failure” or even imprisonment of business directors.

What must UK businesses do to protect themselves?

Companies and organisations of all sizes as well as government bodies will be affected and should consider the following to protect themselves

  • Driver Risk Assessments
  • Driving Assessments
  • Driver Training
  • Issue a Driver Handbook explaining your companies Safety Policy
  • Check driving Licences regularly
  • Record Crash Data

The Corporate Manslaughter Act should persuade companies to take responsibility for the health and safety of their employees on the road, but there are also other benefits of adhering to the legislation such as fewer days lost to injury or work-related ill health, reduced need for paperwork, fewer vehicles off the road for repair, better driving standards, increased profits due to fewer missed orders, less chance of employees being banned and promoting a culture of health and safety.

Fleet Technique is pleased to be working with the government to help raise awareness of these new requirements and make Britain’s roads a safer place to work. We offer a free consultation to all companies and organisations to see whether you comply with the new legislation and will advise of any steps, which may be required to avoid any possible prosecution.

For more information please contact us.

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