First Successful Prosecution in NI for Corporate Manslaughter
A local company has been fined a record £187,500 for corporate manslaughter, in the first successful prosecution in the country under the Corporate Manslaughter Act. There were severe management failures which resulted in a gross breach of the company’s duty of care. The deceased was killed after a metal bin fell off a forklift truck and crushed him. The bin had not been attached properly to the forklift. The forklift was being driven by one of the company’s directors. The Judge’s view was that it was clearly foreseeable that this sort of fatal accident could occur – “common sense would have shown that a simple, reasonable and effective solution would have been available to prevent this tragedy”. There was an obvious failure to take health and safety issues seriously. Payment of fines are not covered by insurance and many local companies would be faced with going out of business if there was a successful corporate manslaughter prosecution against them. Such a prosecution would also have risks and consequences for the Board of Directors. Therefore it is vital that companies manage health and safety properly and take appropriate legal and other advice in relation to relevant issues. Please call Joanne Moody on 028 91826444 if you wish to discuss this prosecution and its likely impact on your business.