• Total Access Total Access Ethentic Ethentic
    Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data

    WORKPLACE MANSLAUGHTER OUTCOMES SET TO RISE

    Guidelines target gross negligence with serious disregard and cost-cutting

    The Sentencing Council has announced a consultation on its proposals for how offenders convicted of manslaughter should be sentenced in England and Wales.

    It is the first time that comprehensive guidelines have been drawn up for these cases, which could include an unintended death resulting from an assault or a workplace fatality caused by an employer’s negligence.

    The nature of the offences, wide range of offending covered and the relative infrequency with which such cases come before individual judges should make guidelines particularly useful in promoting consistency.

    The draft guidelines cover four types of manslaughter:

    • Unlawful Act manslaughter – this is the most commonly prosecuted form of manslaughter and includes deaths that result from assaults where there was no intention to kill or cause very serious harm.  It can also include unintended deaths that result from other crimes, such as arson or robbery;
    • Gross negligence manslaughter – this occurs when the offender is in breach of a duty of care towards the victim which causes the death of the victim and amounts to a criminal act or omission.  The circumstances vary greatly. In a domestic setting it could include parents or carers who fail to protect the victim from an obvious danger. In a work setting, it could cover employers who completely disregard the safety of employees. It could also arise in a medical setting when a practitioner falls far below the required standard in the treatment of a patient;
    • Manslaughter by reason of loss of control – This arises if the actions of an offender, who would otherwise be guilty of murder, resulted from a loss of self control, for example arising from a fear of serious violence; and
    • Manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility – Someone guilty of this offence would have been suffering from a recognised mental condition which affected their responsibility at the time of the offence, without which they would have been convicted of murder.

    The proposals are based on an analysis of current sentencing practice, and in most areas, there are unlikely to be changes to sentence levels, but the Council expects that in some gross negligence cases, sentences will increase.

    Work related manslaughter sentences may increase

    The Sentencing Council state that an example of where sentences may change could be “where a death was caused by an employer’s long-standing and serious disregard for the safety of employees which was motivated by cost-cutting”.

    Current sentencing practice in these sorts of cases is lower in the context of overall sentence levels for manslaughter than for other types.

     

    At present there is very limited sentencing guidance for manslaughter beyond an existing guideline for manslaughter by reason of provocation which is now out of date following legislative changes to the partial defences to murder.

    There are no other existing guidelines for any other forms of manslaughter except corporate manslaughter which is covered by the Council’s health and safety offences guideline.

    Sentencing Council member Mr Justice Holroyde said:

    “Manslaughter always involves the loss of a human life and no sentence can make up for that loss. In developing these guidelines, we have been keenly aware of the impact caused by these offences and so the guidelines aim to ensure sentencing that properly reflects both the culpability of the offender and the seriousness of the harm which has been caused.”

    The consultation is seeking views on various areas of the draft guideline, including culpability and harm factors and the proposed sentence levels. It runs until 10 October 2017 and can be accessed on the Council’s website.

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    DEATH EXPOSED MINIMAL MEWP MAINTENANCE

    Court told about “almost complete” lack of MEWP maintenance

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    CONTRACTOR FAILED TO IDENTIFY ASBESTOS PRESENCE

    ACMs disturbed during works and firm failed to take suitable actions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    FALL THROUGH ROOF ON LOCAL COUNCIL BUILDING

    Fragile rooflight fractured when workman ‘misplaced footing’

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    YOUNG WORKER POSED SPECIAL RISK TO CONTROL

    Conviction highlights duty to young persons and the vulnerable

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    TOWER DEFECTS AND UNSAFE SYSTEM CAUSED DEATH

    Maintenance supervisor fell to his death through roof opening

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    UK MAJOR FINED £1/2m OVER HAVS RISK FAILURES

    Danger caused by poor management of vibrating hand tool risk

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 20th JUNE 2018

    hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices register latest version

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 20th June 2018

    DIRECTOR FAILED TO COMPLY WITH PROHIBITION

    Precautions not taken to prevent excavation collapse and falling

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th June 2018

    SCAFFOLD NOT TO INDUSTRY STANDARD OR DESIGN

    Specialist and contractor in court over unsafe work at height

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th June 2018

    ROAD WORKER RUN OVER BY ROAD ROLLER

    Reversing alarm not working and warning light not fitted

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th June 2018

    CLIENT AND SURVEYOR FINED OVER ASBESTOS SURVEY

    Refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey proved inadequate

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th June 2018

    FATALITY: ROAD WORKER DRAGGED ALONG ROAD

    Night shift worker loses life when struck by road sweeping vehicle

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    CDM PRINCIPAL DESIGNERS AVOID HSE ENFORCEMENT

    Regulator enforcement database reveals few notices involve CDM PDs

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    PROPERTY MANAGERS FINED WITH CONTRACTOR

    Defendants failed to check for asbestos during soffit replacement works

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th May 2018

    EXCAVATION CAUSED RETAINING WALL COLLAPSE

    Precautions not taken to secure stability of free-standing wall

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th May 2018

    OVERHEAD CABLE STRIKE FIRM FINED £500,000+

    Inadequate system caused risk of harm despite lack of worker injury

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th May 2018

    CDM 2015 PRINCIPAL DESIGNER FINED OVER FIRE RISK

    PD and PC failed to comply with CDM 2015 responsibilities

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 23rd May 2018

    SENTENCING GUIDELINES UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

    Lawyer argues guidelines undermine reduction in ‘regulatory burden’

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 23rd May 2018

    PANEL STRUCK WORKMAN DURING LIFTING OPERATION

    Third party contractor falls victim of poor lift planning

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st May 2018

    DIRECTOR LED HAZARDOUS WORK AT HEIGHT

    Three occasions when work lacked suitable and sufficient precautions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st May 2018

    RISK ASSESSED BUT CONTROLS FOUND WANTING

    Joiner fell through unprotected opening on roof of new building

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st May 2018

    RIBA CRITICAL OF HACKITT REVIEW FINAL REPORT

    High rise residential review dismissed as “major missed opportunity”

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st May 2018

    CONSTRUCTION SECTOR DEATHS: THE ‘BIG THREE’

    HSE in-year fatalities for 2017/18 may indicate upward trend

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th May 2018

    SCAFFOLDING SITE ACCIDENTS AT RECORD LOW

    NASC Annual Report reveals all time low in 2017 incidents

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th May 2018

    DUMPER TRUCK HAND-BRAKE NOT MAINTAINED

    Workman injured when pinned against stack of concrete blocks

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th May 2018
    Total Access Total Access Ethentic Ethentic
    Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data