0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

first corporate manslaughter case begins today

25 February 2010

Today, the first prosecution to be brought under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 begins at Bristol Crown Court.

A Cotswold based company, Geotechnical Holdings Limited has been charged with an offence arising from the death of a geologist who was killed when a pit collapsed as he was taking soil samples at a property in Brimscombe. The companys sole director, Peter Eaton, also faces a charge of manslaughter and both Mr Eaton and his company face charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Despite the introduction of the Act, and the pending prosecution at Bristol Crown Court, there still appears to be an appetite for greater regulation of companies when it comes to issues of health and safety. Backbench Labour MP, Frank Doran, has introduced a Private Members Bill to amend the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to place a specific positive duty on company directors to ensure health and safety in their organisations.

The Health and Safety (Company Director Liability) Bill had its first reading in Parliament on 19 January 2010 and is scheduled for a second reading on 23 April 2010.

In support of the Bill, Doran said,

"My Bill will place a positive duty on all company directors to take all reasonable steps to ensure health and safety in all aspects of the companys activities - effectively to put them in the same position as all other employers and to remove a glaring anomaly in our health and safety laws."

The current prosecution and proposal for yet further legislation highlight the need to ensure effective health and safety systems are in place such that, in the event of serious accident or fatality, a company would feel confident of defending itself during the ensuing police and HSE investigation.

For further information in relation to the prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, or for further information in relation to the Health and Safety (Company Director Liability) Bill please get in touch.

focus on...

Legal updates

Challenges of home working in a time of COVID-19

Following the Government’s confirmation that the existing lockdown has been extended by a further three weeks, employers will continue to be encouraged to make all efforts to enable employees to work from home.

View

Legal updates

COVID-19: updated guidance on infection prevention & control and personal protective equipment for health and care providers

Significant new guidance has been issued on 17 April 2020 by Public Health England, in association with the Department of Health & Social Care and NHS England and endorsed by the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”).

View

Legal updates

The impact of Covid-19 on premises inspections for duty holders

Browne Jacobson has further recent guidance has emerged from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in relation to carrying out thorough examination and testing of lifting equipment and pressure equipment during the coronavirus outbreak.

View

Upcoming webinars

Covid-19: managing risks to your business - business unusual part 2

We are pleased to invite you to the third webinar in our Covid-19 series, where a number of key members of the team will be providing further analysis of the practical issues surrounding operating a business in a remote working world.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up