UK: First Publicity Order In Corporate Manslaughter Case And General Case Update

Last Updated: 10 March 2014
Article by Anne Davies

These cases highlight one point over and over again; risk assessments. They are either not in place at all or are undertaken but not followed. Businesses must grasp that they are the backbone of good safety management and when used properly not only ensure work is done safely but also aides efficiency. It should be viewed as a business planning tool and not merely destined for the dusty files marked 'Safety'.

  1. Princes Sporting Club is the fifth company in the UK to be convicted of corporate manslaughter following the death of an 11 year old girl during a birthday party on Back Lake. The company was ordered to pay a total of £135,000, consisting of a £35,000 fine and £100,000 in costs, which amounted to the totality of its assets. The judge made it clear that he was fining the company for every penny that it had and commented that had the company been trading at the time he would have imposed a fine which would have put it out of business.

    The Court heard that the young girl was one of a number of children being pulled along on an inflatable banana boat, before falling into the lake and being hit by the speedboat towing the boat.

    The Court heard that the driver of the speedboat had no UK recognised qualifications and that there was an overall lax attitude to Health and Safety by the club.

    The Court also imposed a Publicity Order against the company, requiring the company to publicise the details of its conviction. This is the first time that this power had been used by the courts in corporate manslaughter cases.
  2. Assystem UK, a specialist engineering company providing services to firms such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce, has been fined £160,000 and been ordered to pay £52,500 in prosecution costs following an electrician was crushed and killed by an overhead crane in Preston.

    The HSE heard that a travelling crane had developed a fault which the electrician and colleagues were trying to fix when the crane activated and crushed the electrician against some steel hoops. The investigation concluded that the company had not identified the risk of workers being crushed and had failed to conduct a relevant risk assessment and this failure was found to be a significant cause of the death.

    The figure of £160,000 was reduced by around one third and rounded down slightly in acknowledgment of the company's early guilty plea and genuine remorse. It was also pointed out by the judge that the company had no previous enforcement notices or convictions.
  3. Carillion AM Government was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay £28,551 in legal costs following a motorcyclist was paralysed after he collided with road signs that had been mistakenly positioned by Carillion.

    The court heard that although signs should have been erected at 800, 400 and 200 meters before the road closure, the first sign was erected a mere 175 metres before the closure despite the fact that the speed limit in the area was 50mph.
  4. St George South London Ltd, a property developer, has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £222,692 in legal costs after a pedestrian suffered a permanent brain injury when she was struck by a falling advertising sign.

    The HSE investigation found that the sign had been erected over nine years prior to the incident and had decayed to such an extent that it was blown down by a gust of wind onto the pedestrian. The contractor responsible for the cosmetic maintenance of the sign had failed to remind SGSL that the sign had come to the end of its life or alerted them on their obligation to ensure it was properly inspected and maintained. SGSL themselves had not conducted a risk assessment or checked for structural soundness, even though the sign had actually been designed to last for only two years. The judge also found that death or very serious injury was likely to follow a possible collapse so was a foreseeable consequence that the company had failed to assess.
  5. St George South London Ltd was also involved in an incident whereby a temporary platform collapsed causing a worker to fall ten meters onto a concrete staircase with equipment raining down on him. The worker suffered multiple injuries and internal trauma and is no longer able to work in the construction industry.

    The HSE concluded that SGSL, as the principal contractor, had failed to properly plan and manage the construction work so as to avoid risks to safety and had failed to ensure that the subcontractors had developed and implemented safe systems of work.

    SGSL, who pleaded guilty to the offence, was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £27,386 in costs.
  6. Sheffield Forgemasters was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £125,000 in costs after an employee died of carbon dioxide poisoning after the confined underground area he was working in filled with fire-extinguishing mist.

    The HSE investigation found that on the morning of the incident, the employee was undertaking a job in a cellar which was only accessible by lifting a manhole cover and dropping down a ladder, when the petrol-driven saw he was using activated a smoke sensor and prompted the release of carbon dioxide from the fire extinguishing system. Upon hearing the carbon dioxide alarms a number of colleagues rushed to help but were unable to rescue the employee due to inability to breathe and remain conscious when exposed to the gas.

    The investigation concluded that the employer had failed to provide any rescue equipment for the cellar, and identified a lack of risk assessment for the particular task and a failure to provide a safe system of work for its employees.
  7. A HSE investigation found that a farming company, whose employee had been killed after being crushed by a forklift truck, had carried out a risk assessment ten years before the incident which had highlighted the need for pedestrians and vehicles to be segregated but had failed to act upon these findings.

    The HSE concluded that the company had failed to take effective steps to ensure employees were safe and had failed to implement the findings of a risk assessment it had itself commissioned. Lincolnshire Field Products Ltd was fined £165,000 and ordered to pay £39,500 in costs.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Anne Davies
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.