There have been many discussions about the Corporate Manslaughter Legislation and the effect it will have on the way businesses operate. Most of those discussions are based on a best guess scenario and assumptions.
I will not be making guesses at an eventual outcome, but I can give you guidance on the processes involved should a collision occur and then I will give you some guidance on what steps you can take to prevent your business falling foul of the Corporate Manslaughter Legislation. The investigation is a defined process and will follow structured path of evidence gathering with witness and suspect interviews. As a business you are in the suspect category from the outset.
Take the following example of a road collision. It is a typical collision that happens on the roads in the UK on a daily basis. Vehicle One is owned by the company concerned.
Circumstances of the crash:
- Vehicle One: SUV – 6 months old – 32,000 miles – Never Been Serviced
- Vehicle Two: Supermini – 3 years old – 36,00 miles – Full Service History
- Time of Collision: 0840 hrs
- Weather Conditions: Wet
- Occupant Vehicle One: Driver: Male 47 yrs: Bruising, Minor Lacerations and Whiplash
- Occupant Vehicle Two: Driver: Female 28 yrs: Declared Dead at the Scene
- Occupant Vehicle Two: Passenger: Male 3 yrs: Severe Head Injuries
- Vehicle One: Found to Have Two Defective Tyres
- Vehicle Two: No Defects Found
There is also some additional information that you need to consider.
- The driver of the SUV was previously driving a 5 door executive car.
- The drivers licence was checked upon joining the organisation 18 months previously.
- The driver did not have the vehicle handed to him in a documented manner, nor were the driving characteristics of the SUV explained to him.
- The vehicle is owned by the company.
- Maintenance is organised by the individual drivers
- The driver had 9 points on his licence for speeding.
- The driver did send in mileage reports every month, detailing business and private miles
The next step in the process will be covered in the blog tomorrow and will describe the way the Police and Health & Safety Executive will deal with the business.