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Firm charged over worker's death

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posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 06:01 PM

Firm charged over worker's death

A company has become the first in the UK to be charged under the 2007 Corporate Manslaughter Act.

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. Both he and the company also face health and safety charges. The 2007 Corporate Manslaughter Act was brought in to make it easier to bring companies to justice over the death of employees.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 06:01 PM
This is how you stop a corporation.

This is what we can all focus on in regards to making sure that corporations can no longer rape and pillage the planet, poison the environment and/or cause the death or disability of wildlife or humans and get away with it!

the first of many under the new legislation. ....the message to all organisations could not be clearer.

This actual story may seem like a gold fish flushed into the Atlantic ocean, but for many, many people this story will be bringing shouts of joy. For many this will be seen as the start of something that these people have been trying to do for years.. and that is to get these corporate bodies held responsible for their crimes.

It will only take a bit more time before more laws are made to combat the corporate 'stealth' activities and their ability to claim 'no one to blame' behind their corporate label.

I wish there was more I could do to bring this to everyones attention as the title is not very eye catching.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 06:22 PM
There is not enough information in that article to make any conclusions from. A "pit" collapsed is all it said.

The dark side of this is if it turns into a lynch mob mentality where a company is held liable for accidents. There are frivolous law suits of that nature all the time.

Having spent the first 10 years of my working life working heavy construction and oil rigs, I know that most people get killed because they DO NOT follow safety rules already in place. Nearly every accident I saw was the fault of the person who was hurt or killed, not the company who had good rules in place that were ignored.

I can see how this could be abused greatly.

The company's I worked for fired you if you were caught running, walking the iron (a movie myth that has been a firing offense in the US for many decades) or most other stupidity. A law like this will need to be carefully controlled.

Workman's Comp must be so high it nearly destroys companies there. A law like that could make it so high it doubles the cost of housing for instance. No good deed goes unpunished and no law does not raise costs on the poor I assure you. I hope your courts are honest and unbiased.

The question here is did the company force that man into an unsafe pit or did he jump in stupidly on his own without securing the pits walls? See why this could be abused?

posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 06:58 PM
reply to post by Blaine91555

Companies still do things that endanger the workers or simply cover their tales when a worker is endangered.

I was on the safety committee at my last job. We had a safety rule for fires that was buried way down in the back of the book. It was a simple "Don't fight" rule. If there is a fire, get out. We didn't mention it and none of the employees knew about it so if a fire broke out, you fought it and got hurt, it's your fault. You would be fired and the company would do as little as it could to help you.

The paint dept. was crippling people on a weekly basis with repetitive stress and carpel tunnel. The company fought every claim tooth and nail, even though they were stacking up bodies right and left.

I know these things because I was on the safety committee, who's main goal was to protect the company against the claims of the workers.

As for this thread, I believe it's a step in the right direction,


posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 07:05 PM
reply to post by mrwupy

Believe me I know. I've seen the opposite also.

In Construction and on Oil Rigs we were under either OSHA or MSHA. They kept a man on the job to monitor. We were very well informed as to the rules in fact it took two days just to go through the safety drills.

I agree these laws are needed but I also know they will be abused.

In my experience the big companies were very careful and the little outfits were the ones who were not. The larger the company, the better they were to work for. In construction and oil at least.

Run on the job - your fired.
Be more than 6 feet of the ground without being tied off - Fired.
Walk the iron without a safety rope - Fired.
No safety glasses - Fired
No hardhat - Fired
No steel toed boots - Fired.
It was that simple.

On the rigs we got massive training in first aid and how to deal with possible gas exposure. We could not even wear a beard or sideburns so respirators would seal.

[edit on 4/23/2009 by Blaine91555]

posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 08:46 PM
reply to post by Blaine91555

I respect your comments here and I tend to agree with your thoughts on it all being abused, but this particular case is the first of its kind and for many years we, the people, have been screaming out about what these corporations do, are caught doing and get away scot free with because they have no particular individual 'at the top' to blame as they are a corporate body.

The only people that has previously abused anything are these corporate bodies. They abuse the power they have by getting lawyers to write their policies, contracts, terms and conditions, rules and regulations that we must all abide by if we want to be paid a wage.

Yet as soon as anything goes wrong, it has nothing to do with the corporation and they have the top lawyers again to battle out anything that might happen to get to a court.

Yes, we have seen companies fined, and some heavily, but this is still peanuts to a lot of these companies. How many people have died due to some corporate practice and families have fought for compensation or to get to the real culprit or even some truth, only to have the corporation wash its hands of any wrong doing?

It's stuff like that which leads to conspiracy theories...

No doubt this might be abused, but I can't think of any way that it could be. This law is obviously set up to benefit anyone who suffers under a corporation in a particular fashion. I can only hope this law gains its strength and is adapted to cover a wider angle.

[edit on 23-4-2009 by Extralien]

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 03:11 AM
I've just remembered something that happened several years ago so I did a search to find out what the outcome was...

A Plymouth boatyard has admitted safety offences after the death of a young worker in a fireball explosion.

Ben Pinkham, aged 21, from Saltash, Cornwall, died in hospital six days after suffering 80 degree burns in the accident at the Princess Yachts yard.

The company has admitted two health and safety offences over his death.

An extremely unfortunate event for all involved.

Well, I was expecting an outcome of negligence or a fine and to read of people scrreaming how its not fair the young man died etc etc..

How wrong I was. It actually turns out thet the company and the boss were charged under corporate manslaughter...

The boss of that firm, Alan James Mark, 45, is charged with unlawful killing.

His firm, Nationwide Heating Services, of Pennycross, Plymouth, faces a summons for corporate manslaughter and breach of health and safety rules.

So what's unusual about that? Well, I'd like to know what the difference is between the 2007 corporate manslaughter act and an earlier version as the case stated here happened in 2004 !!!

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 is a landmark in law. For the first time, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care.

The Act, which came into force on 6 April 2008, clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies including large organisations where serious failures in the management of health and safety result in a fatality.

So I found a Q&A employment law site, which happens to have this statement;

Q, How does the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act differ from the current law?

A, The current law links a company's guilt to the gross negligence of an individual who is said to be the embodiment of the company.

It has proved very difficult to prosecute large organisations, and the only successful prosecutions have been against small companies where the director and company are essentially one and the same.

The new Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act seeks to address this difficulty by focusing on the way in which a company's activities are managed or organised, and it is not reliant on one individual being found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter. The courts will now be able to consider the wider corporate picture, looking collectively at the actions, or more appropriately the failings, of the company's senior management.

And then just to back that up there is the actual 'fight' to get this law made;

Corporate manslaughter: the issues

The government has invited consultation and comment on a proposed bill by 17 June 2005.

It is not possible under the present law to add up the negligence of several individuals to show the company as grossly negligent. A specific individual has to be identified as a controlling mind for corporate manslaughter to be proven.

So how was Nationwide Heating Services charged with corporate manslaughter in 2004?

My statement mentioning how this threads title is not potent enough to highlight the importance of this story is mirrored by others outside of ATS,

experts warned last night that the case's significance would be limited by the fact that prosecutors had targeted a relatively "small fish".

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