Lion Steel Equipment Ltd have become the third company to be convicted of Corporate Manslaughter, in July. The prosecution followed an incident on 29 May 2008 when a worker sustained fatal injuries after falling 13 metres through a fragile roof. The prosecution was not straight forward, with health and safety offences being brought against the company (Section 2 HSWA and Working at Height Regulations), and gross negligence manslaughter charges against three of the directors in addition to Section 37 HSWA offences against the directors on the basis that the offences charged against the company were caused by the consent, connivance or neglect of those directors.
The Corporate Manslaughter prosecutions brought to date have given little guidance as to how the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 will be applied to large organisations. However, the CPS and the HSE have indicated that there are a number of ongoing investigations where the charge of Corporate Manslaughter is being considered.
Lion Steel was fined £480k and ordered to pay costs of £84k.