In the United Kingdom, there has been legislation under the UK’s Corporate Manslaughter Act of 2007 that risk managers and business continuity specialists have recognized as a potential threat and impact on all U.K. entities since a case arose in September, 2008, when a 27-year-old geologist was working alone in a deep trial pit, and the pit caved in on him.

Recently, in an article written by Sue Reisinger, and posted on the LAW.COM website, Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Limited, the mining company, in this case, became the first business to be convicted under the UK’s Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act of 2007. The law holds a company liable when a death is caused by “senior management’s” gross breach of duty of care – and can also arise from fatalities caused by any of a company’s activities, including the use of company supplied vehicles and the supply of alleged defective products.

Such a fine would present a very serious threat to the survival of any business, irrespective of size; and highlights the importance of ensuring that all health and safety risks are taken extremely seriously by all organizations.

Certainly with this case decision, potential business continuity impacts can clearly be seen – at least for companies in the U.K.

What are your thoughts and comments about this potentially having an impact on U.S. companies — especially outside of the mining industry?  How do current U.S. laws in this area of corporate responsibility differ from this U.K. law?

Read more about this case ….and if applicable, please pass this along to those business continuity and risk management team members in your organization.

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