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October 9, 2008

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Tolley’s Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide- A guide to compliance

writes John Anderson.

Before giving detailed attention to the Corporate Manslaughter Act, the book starts with a 62-page overview of the current statutory health and safety UK legislation. This section on its own could be of great value to students and those seeking to refresh their knowledge of current laws. There is also a reference to the interesting Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which gives employees legal protection if they ‘blow the whistle’ on health and safety concerns.

The book then proceeds to deliver two chapters on ‘Law of negligence and the common-law duty of care’ and ‘Individual liability’. The latter chapter is of particular interest, as most will be aware of the duty of employees and others under the HSW Act section 7 and section 37. Despite the known difficulties of proving a case of gross negligence manslaughter against directors or business-owners, the author points out that 15 such cases have been successful in recent years (many being described here in detail), before going on to discuss seven other cases of convictions of managers and other workers for work-related manslaughter. This is powerful stuff.

There follows a short but interesting chapter on corporate accountability and governance, before separate chapters on the following specialist industries: construction, transport, manufacturing, energy, and public services.

The information about the author states that she is a freelance journalist and a former researcher – and it is the quality and comprehensiveness of her research and the worthwhile information she provides within her book that shine through. The text is especially strong on the detail and numbers of decided cases. The message to readers is loud and clear: if you want to avoid court appearances under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, then get busy and make sure that all existing health and safety systems are in place and functioning as well as they possibly can be.

Author: Andrea Oates

Published by: LexisNexis Tolley

ISBN 978 0 7545 3066 4

Price £65


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