Corporate Manslaughter Fines

Company fined £385,000 for corporate manslaughter

Cotswold Geotechnical (Holdings) Ltd has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter and fined £385,000 in the first case and first conviction of its kind. An unsupervised employee died while taking soil samples from the bottom of a 3.5 metre deep pit on a building site. The company ignored well-recognised industry guidance requiring excavations more than 1.2 metres deep to be properly supported.

The successful prosecution demonstrates the need for businesses to have robust health and safety procedures in place. Larger businesses than Cotswold should take notice of the level of the fine as, at the time of the offence, Cotswold had only eight employees. It is likely that a larger organisation would have faced a much higher fine.

This checklist sets out the factors which can lead to a business being prosecuted for corporate manslaughter and highlights the penalties for breaching the legislation.

For further information, contact our Business Law Team.

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