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Corporate Manslaughter Bill spells major change for engineering firms

COMPANIES WILL face prosecution for manslaughter if they are suspected of causing the death of an employee or member of the public through management failings, a law rm warned last month.

Mace & Jones corporate lawyer, Ian Hodgkinson urged business owners to pay close attention to the draft Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Bill as it passes through the House of Lords. The Bill follows years of debate in Whitehall.

'It is vital businesses are aware of how the law is to be changed, ' said Hodgkinson. .

'The Bill, which covers the whole of the UK, will enable the courts to consider the overall picture of how an organisation's activities were managed, rather than focusing on the actions of one individual.'

However, it will not be possible to prosecute a company when the failings are solely at junior levels.

Hodgkinson added that an organisation can be guilty of the new offence if someone has been killed as a result of the way in which its activities are managed or organised, if this amounts to a gross breach of a duty of care.

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