Paul Harrop from DFM explains how to understand the Corporate Manslaughter Act
Harrop: practical advice on how to understand the Corporate Manslaughter Act
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Paul Harrop from DFM explains how to understand the Corporate Manslaughter Act
Harrop: practical advice on how to understand the Corporate Manslaughter Act

By Paul Harrop, sales & marketing director, Daimler Fleet Management

The Corporate Manslaughter Act becomes law on 6 April 2008.

After this date a company can by found criminally liable for death caused by work-related driving.

Such an incident is where avoidable vehicle defects contribute to a fatality.

Alongside unlimited fines if found guilty are two further penalties.

A remedy order (ordering particular improvements) and a publicity order (publicising conviction details).

Publicity orders could be catastrophic if work disappears through damaged reputation.

But what does this actually mean to you as a small business owner running vehicles?

Corporate negligence examples include:

  • No regular maintenance checks
  • Vehicle(s) being used with a known defect
  • Substandard repair permitted
  • Inappropriate working/driving hours without rest periods.

Developing effective strategies

Vehicle condition is highly important; vehicles must be regularly serviced, maintained and repaired (sometimes referred to as SMR). Employers are legally responsibility for ensuring roadworthiness and that maintenance is undertaken – which is one of the benefits of adding maintenance to a contract hire agreement. 

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