13 May 2008
Corporate manslaughter law 'has made large firms more vulnerable'
The new corporate manslaughter legislation which came into effect last month in the UK has made large companies more vulnerable to prosecution, an expert has said.
Writing in Continuity Central, Chris Woodcock, the managing director of Razor, stated that the law "theoretically" makes such firms more at risk legally because prosecutors no longer have to demonstrate that a single senior official is the "controlling mind" and the person who has the main responsibility over the fatality.
Rather, the act requires that senior management as a whole plays an accountable role in the incident.
About the legislation, Ms Woodcock said: "Clearly, it gives the courts greater powers to shame companies and brands - and the people who run them."
Last month, Roger Bibbings, occupational safety adviser for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, stated that, as a result of the corporate manslaughter law, directors and senior managers will be in the "firing line" if work-related fatalities are judged to occur as a result of gross corporate failures.