First Corporate Manslaughter Trial Imminent

First Company and Director faced with prosecution \r\n\r\nFleet operators are urged to take note as the first Corporate Manslaughter prosecution against a company and an individual director is authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service.\r\n\r\nOn 23rd April 2009, a charge of Corporate Manslaughter (which became law on 6th April 2009), was authorised by the CPS against Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd.\r\n\r\nThe prosecution is in relation to the death on 5th September 2008 of an employee of Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd, who  was crushed to death when the sides of an excavation pit he was working in collapsed.\r\n\r\nA director of the company has been charged with gross negligent manslaughter and with an offence contrary to Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.  As a company, Cotswold Geoechnical Holdings Ltd has also been charged with failing to discharge a duty contrary to Section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.\r\n\r\nThe reviewing lawyer of the CPS Special Crime Division stated that they have concluded that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of of a conviction for this offence.\r\n\r\nThe director will appear in court on 17th June 2009, where he faces charges both as an individual, and on behalf of the company. If convicted for gross negligent manslaughter, he could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, whilst a conviction for Corporate Manslaughter could see the company faced with an unlimited fine.\r\n

PLEASE REMEMBER

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All companies with employees who drive on company related business have a duty of care under Health & Safety law to ensure that, as a bare minimum,  a work related risk assessment has been undertaken, the results of which must be acted upon in an appropriate manner. This applies regardless of whether the vehicle is company owned, a hire vehicle, or is the employees own.

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Please make use of our FREE online risk assessment tool and please contact us for details of our FREE driver policy document.

Motorists to get £2000 for scrapping old cars under 2009 Budget

The “scrappage” scheme, costing the Government £300 million, is intended not only to boost the ailing car industry, but to take some of the most environmentally unfriendly vehicles off the road. It will start next month and run until March 2010 and follows the introduction of a similar scheme in Germany, which triggered a 40 per cent rise in car sales last month.\r\n\r\nAlistair Darling – who delivered his Budget yesterday – believes the scheme will result in at least 300,000 new cars being bought in Britain by the time the scheme finishes and will kick-start an industry which was bracing itself for its worst year for new registrations since the recession of the early 1990s. Full details of the scheme, which will also apply to vans, will be announced by Lord Mandelson”s Department of Business within the next few weeks.\r\n\r\nIt will entail the Government putting in £1,000 towards the cost of a new car, with the amount being matched by the car maker. Somebody wanting to participate in the scheme would begin negotiations for a new car at the dealership by providing proof of the car”s age and the fact that they have owned the vehicle for at least a year. This would prevent somebody buying a very cheap car from a scrapyard and using it to claim the discount.\r\n\r\nThe car would also have to be inspected, either by the dealer of an official Authorised Treatment Facility. Once these formalities have been completed, a certificate would be presented which would enable the motorist to buy a new model. Manufacturers participating in the scrappage scheme will be obliged to make their entire range of cars available, including their very cheapest models, often costing less than £6,000.\r\n\r\nPrivately some industry observers fear that dealers will use the scrappage scheme to withdraw discounts they would otherwise have offered to clinch a deal. Nevertheless the car industry, which has suffered months of redundancies and production cutbacks, welcomed the Government”s decision to adopt the scheme they have spent months campaigning for.\r\n\r\n”This will boost the new car market and get consumers to get back into car showrooms,” said Paul Williams, chairman of the Retail Motor Industry Federation. “This will make further lay offs at car plants and dealerships much less likely”.\r\n\r\nIt was also welcomed by Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. “This is good news for consumers and will get people back into showrooms, kick-starting demand in the market. The scheme recognises the economic value of the motor industry and we are determined to make it a success.”\r\n\r\nEdmund King, the AA”s president, also hailed the introduction of the scheme. “A £2000 incentive from Government and manufacturers will help the economy, environment and employment. Cleaner, greener and safer cars will replace some of the older gross polluters,” he said.\r\n\r\nBut the “green” credentials of the scheme were questioned by some of the Government”s own environmental advisers, including Phillip Selwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust.\r\n\r\n”The government”s announcement on scrappage contradicts the carbon friendly announcements in the budget such as money for electric vehicles, CO2 related Company Car tax and the increase in fuel duty,” he said.\r\n\r\n”This policy will increase car purchase regardless of CO2 emissions and the government has missed a significant opportunity by spending public money to incentivise any car upgrade when they could have incentivised the lowest carbon emission cars.”\r\n\r\nOriginal article here