First UK organisation charged under Corporate Manslaughter Act

According to a recent BBC news article (23 April 2009), Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings has become the first organisation in the UK to be charged under the 2007 Corporate Manslaughter Act.

The company is accused over the death of employee Alexander Wright, 27, who was killed when a pit collapsed in September 2008. The junior geologist was taking soil samples at a site near Stroud in Gloucestershire at the time.

Company director Peter Eaton is charged with gross negligence manslaughter and could be jailed for life if convicted. The maximum sentence for the firm is an unlimited fine.

Mr Eaton is due before magistrates in Stroud on 17 June. Both he and the company also face health and safety charges.

This prosecution has implications for many other organisations, including NHS trusts, etc. It is vital that all organisations ensure that they are properly managing health and safety at all levels and that all applicable legislation and guidance is adhered to.

Read the BBC new article here.

Gael Limited, developers of the Q-Pulse compliance management software used by many NHS organisations, have highlighted this matter on their health care discussion forum. Click here to get further information on corporate manslaughter from Gael and to join in the discussion.

Further information on corporate manslaughter, including a detailed Welsh health circular on the subject, available on Healthcare Governancve Review can be found by typing ‘corporate manslaughter’ in the Search box at the top right of the screen.

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