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Company director personally fined: corporate manslaughter

A cleaning company has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter following the death of a worker in March 2012.  As a result of the court case the Company Director has been fined £183,000.  The judge also ruled that if the fine is not paid within 12 months a 3 year prison sentence will be imposed.

The case follows the death of Malcolm Hinton who died when he was crushed by a road sweeper, whilst carrying out repairs to the machine.  It is said that he was not trained in mechanics, there was no protection available and the light on site was poor.  A joint police and HSE investigation was carried out following the incident highlighting extensive failings on the part of the company.

The company, Mobile Sweepers (Reading) Ltd pleaded guilty to a charge under section 1 of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 and the company director admitted failing to discharge duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company director has also been disqualified from being a company director for five years.  This followed evidence heard by the judge, that the director had started an almost identical company when the original company ceased trading on the day of the accident.  Further, a publicity order was also imposed on the company.  Notices worded by the judge are to be placed in various local newspapers.

The judge further commented that had the company been a larger corporation, the fine imposed would have been closer to £1 million.

Increasingly the Health & Safety Executive are looking to apportion blame against individuals, however, with a little planning and a small investment it is possible to manage your health and safety effectively enabling you to sleep at night.

If you would like to find out how ProAktive can help your business, contact us today.

By Simon Walsh



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