This site provides background to Corporate Training run by Rory MacPhee

Monday, 9 February 2009

February 16 2009

Running Order

1300 Welcome from TR, brief outline of expected outcomes

1310 Statement of the Law: Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide by RM, followed by brief statistical overview of global/national/institutional risk

1320 Case Study 1: TR

1340 Case Study 2 - Lyme Bay: RM AALA statement, more facts, and more, legal summary

1400 Video of Mark Thomas’ gig

1415 Break

1430 Activity: Disaster Scenario - see below

1440 Facilitated session with RM and roving mike, TR and flipcharts developing ideas for crisis response. Questions of fact will be allowed.

1500 Breakout: each table will develop and record on the sheets provided ideas for effective crisis management, and discuss how risk can be mitigated. Comfort breaks allowed.

1530 How to run a Focus Session with Kath Frankland, resource on Moodle

1600 Plenary: Recommendations for enhanced risk management. Steer points: does quality encompass risk management? Where are the annual hot points for risk?

1630 close


· Attendees will be encouraged to develop their own recommendations to the Corporation for enhanced risk management
· Attendees will consider establishing Focus Groups for their curriculum area to identify best practice in risk management

The Law

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act creates the new statutory offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland of "corporate manslaughter", and in Scotland of "corporate homicide". A company will be guilty of the new offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organised, by its senior management (senior management is defined in the Act as those persons who play a significant role in the decision-making process about how the company's activities are managed and organised), amount to a gross breach of the duty of care it owes to its employees, the public or other individual and those failings caused the person's death.

Companies and government bodies face prosecution if they are found to have caused a person's death due to their corporate health and safety failings.
The courts will now be able to consider the wider corporate picture, looking collectively at the actions, or more appropriately the failings, of the company's senior management.

The Act is about corporate, not individual, responsibility. The existing law allows for the prosecution under Health and Safety legislation of individual managers and employees with a maximum prison sentence of 2 years/unlimited fine, and prosecution under the common law for gross negligence manslaughter with a maximum sentence of life. (Note a recent medical negligence case where the sentence was for two years suspended - ie contingent on another crime).

Penalties include an unlimited fine, remedial orders and publicity orders. A remedial order will require an organisation to take steps to remedy any management failure that led to death. The court can impose an order publicising the fact the company has been convicted of the offence, providing details, the amount of any fine imposed and the terms of any remedial order made.

Recommended Action

Obtain and consider all health and safety guidance applicable to their business;
• Consider industry standards – what benchmarks is the company working to?
• Ensure all risk assessments are up to date and reviewed;
• Implement a consistent and documented enforcement regime for health and safety issues;

• Consider what element of the company’s budget is spent on health and safety;
• Review the company’s policies and near miss reports and procedures;
• Review the company’s policies and assessments in relation to vehicles and work-related driving;
• Consider the company’s hierarchy and determine who would be considered senior management for the purposes of the Act;
• Review the company’s safety culture – regardless of documents, policies and procedures;
• Are employees able to report health and safety concerns confidentially?
• Check the extent of the company’s insurance cover for criminal costs. Most policies only cover defence costs to the Magistrates Court; and
• Check the extent of any insurance policies in place covering criminal costs for directors or officers of the company.


Bill, a college lecturer is running a field trip. There are 20 students, 14 of whom are male. All are over 18 years of age. Bill is supported by Zara, a newly appointed part time lecturer. Zara has taken the students off in a mini-bus to undertake a nocturnal bio-blitz. Bill remains in the camp 2 miles away to act as coordinator. He has checked all phones are charged, and goes to bed. The time is 2200hrs and it is a Saturday in May. At 2245 Bill's mobile phone rings. It is Zara, who informs Bill that she cannot locate one of the students. It is dark, and she is beginning to panic. Her phone is in and out of reception, and she says she has run to high ground, leaving the rest of the students on the foreshore where there is no mobile reception.

Questions to address:

  • What pre-trip actions should have been taken in the noramal course of events?
  • What safety equipment should Bill have taken on the trip?
  • What immediate actions should Bill take?
  • What corporate assistance should Bill be able to access?
  • In the event that the studnet was found to have died, what corporate response should there be?


Text Book
Fenwick Elliot
Summary of recent cases
Liability Insurance


Emergency Actions Paper

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About Me

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Rory builds boats, furniture and structures working with a variety of social enterprises in Cornwall. He lectures on Wildlife Law and works closely with the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society and the Fal/Helford Special Area of Conservation