Corporate manslaughter

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies and employers, where serious failures in the management of health and safety have resulted in a death.

Individuals can still be prosecuted for separate health and safety offences. An organisation can also be found guilty of the offence, if the way in which its activities are managed/ organised causes a death and amounts to a gross breach of a duty of care to the deceased. Furthermore, it may be the case that the organisation’s conduct has fallen far below what could have been reasonably expected.

Juries will consider how the workplace activities are managed such as any systems or processes which are in place to help manage safety and how those were operated in practice.  Companies found guilty will be liable to unlimited fines and may have to publicly declare their conviction and financial penalty.

For further information

Please consult the revised HSE/DfT document ‘Driving at Work’ which is available here: