What is corporate manslaughter and would I be liable if someone died at work?
“Manslaughter” is the term used to describe the act of causing someone’s death, but without the intent to kill them. It is usually applied to individuals.
In a working environment, and particularly in the construction industry, which has more than its fair share of dangerous incidents, there have been concerns raised over the years that in some cases these have been the results of organisational cultures and working practices so uncontrolled that there were “accidents waiting to happen”.
Under common law, if an accident occurs, charges may be brought against the person held responsible, where it can be proved that their actions had been negligent or reckless, and also that they had what is referred to as a “controlling mind” in terms of their influence in that organisation.
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