Corporate Manslaughter

Businesses falling foul of health and safety legislation could be hit with tougher sanctions if new rules are adopted. Fines could take into consideration the company’s turnover  up to £20 million. 

Back in November, Sterecyle were fined £500,000 following the death of an employee during an explosion. The impact to their business, the company have since gone into administration following the incident.

A lot of focus is given to the high impact, high likelihood ‘rockstar’ risk, but often there is an attitude of ‘its never going to happen’ to the high impact low likelihood risks. Freak events or a mis-understanding of the frequency, result in these risks being the ones that end businesses and must be reviewed and assured with the same interest that is given to high high rockstar risks.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, 133 people were killed at work in 2013/14, 70 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work and over 6,400 non-fatal work related injuries. There have only been four convictions for corporate manslaughter in England and Wales since the legislation was introduced in 2007.

The  financial impacts of fines, litigation, reputation damage, insurance deductibles and loss of productivity can be devastating and seem to come out of the blue.

 

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