Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Indepth: The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 is considered to be a landmark in law. It was introduced to the House of Commons by the then Home Secretary, John Reid, on 20th July 2006, received royal assent on the 26th July 2007 and came into force on the 6th April 2008 and, for the first time, allows for companies and organisations to be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care.

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 created a new offence, which is called corporate manslaughter in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and corporate homicide in Scotland.

Before the Act came into force, a corporation could only be convicted of manslaughter if all of the elements of the offence had been committed by a single employee of the company, and even then they had to be so senior within the corporation that they would be seen as “embodying the mind” of the corporation. In practice, this meant that it was incredibly rare for a corporation to be convicted of manslaughter, and it was felt that corporations were escaping responsibility and punishment.

Following the implementation of the act, an offence is committed if the way in which an organisation’s activities are managed or organised causes a person’s death and amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care owed by the organisation to the deceased.

Failure to carry out regular inspections and maintenance of your warehouse pallet racking could potentially lead to the deaths of employees and subsequently to your organisation being found guilty of corporate manslaughter. If you are a company director or responsible for the health and safety of your organisation, give yourself a good night sleep and let us take the headache of inspecting your storage system away. To find out more about our pallet racking inspections, please click here to visit our website.