This sad case came to court because a building and joining company did not provide equipment to prevent one of its employees falling 7.6m through a fragile skylight. The company was fined £200,000 for corporate manslaughter and £20,000 for an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The owner of the company pleaded guilty to the same health and safety offence and received an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years as well as 200 hours unpaid work. As part of the corporate manslaughter sentence, the company was also ordered to advertise what had happened on the company website for a period of time and to take out a half page spread in the local newspaper.
This is yet another example of a small company being prosecuted under the corporate manslaughter legislation. Small companies are, by virtue of their size, more vulnerable because it is often easier to prove what “senior management” (an essential element of the corporate manslaughter offence) did not do.
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