Manslaughter law threat

14 February 2008
More legal news

14 February 2008

The new corporate manslaughter act means buyers could become liable for employee fatalities.

David Leckie, a partner at legal firm Maclay Murray and Spens, warned that buyers and their managers could be prosecuted if employees are killed while traveling on business in the UK.

Leckie, who specialises in health and safety law, said: "The police won't discriminate when they investigate corporate manslaughter cases. If there is any negligence on the procurement side, buyers could be held accountable."

The act will be introduced on 6 April and he advised firms to invest time in drawing up risk assessment regulations, to eliminate any accountability before an employee travels.

He noted that if firms are found guilty of negligence, or a "gross breach of relevant duty", under the new act they could face significant penalties. Fines could rise to 10 per cent of an organisation's annual turnover, while all documentation from the incident will have to be made public.

See Fleet supplement

SMfeb2008

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