Company Directors charged under Corporate Manslaughter Act

I’ve been reading a few blogs recently about Lion Steel Ltd.who are the second company to be charged under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 since its implementation. This is a real wake up call for Company Directors to sit up and take notice of staff safety as they will be held to account.

The Greater Manchester Police  have charged the storage manufacturing company with corporate manslaughter as a result of the death of an employee when he fell through a fragile plastic roof panel on an industrial estate. I have also read that the company is charged under section 2 and 33 of the Health and Safety Work Acts 1974 (HSWA) for failing to ensure the safety at work of its employees.

So it is that the three directors are each accused of manslaughter by gross negligence under section 37 of the HSWA for failing to ensure the safety at work of their employees.

Notwithstanding the terrible tragedy of the dealth of a man I am pleased to see that the Corporate Manslaughter Act is being used and has not just been a paper exercise. I believe employers should look upon this act as an opportunity to really look at the personal safety of their employees. Equally employees should use this Act as a way to ensure they are getting everything they are entitled to receive to enable them to their jobs safely and effectively. This will include the environment they work in, the equipment used and the quality and frequency of the training they receive.

This applies to all types of workplace, not just where there are obvious risks such as in manufacturing or building services but also where personal safety could be an issue due to staff members interactions with the general public. The NHS for example, often reports violence from patients towards their staff, and this not always from the mentally unstable. So here we have a caring profession….not somewhere you would automatically think of as an environment in need of personal safety for its staff…that in reality needs to and in many cases does, provide personal safety training for it’s staff.

The first hearing for Lion Steel Ltd. Will take place on 2nd August.

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