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Corporate manslaughter conviction forceful reminder to commercial fleets

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The first conviction for corporate manslaughter will spur commercial fleet managers to reappraise their health and safety measures. Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings was sentenced on Thursday 17th February, after having been found guilty of failing to ensure the safety of an employee killed in a work related accident.

For many businesses, the conviction is likely to signal “a symbolic shift from corporate manslaughter as an intangible threat to an uncomfortably real possibility,” says Steve Blackburn, vice-president, EMEA Navman Wireless.

“The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Act 2007 came into force in April 2008. This proved sufficient impetus for many managers to preside over significant consolidations of health and safety measures.

“However, the recent ruling will resonate among the prepared and unprepared alike, as a concrete example of the far-reaching repercussions of negligence,” warns Steve.

Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings was fined £385,000, due to the parlous state of the company finances. The standard minimum fine remains £500,000 with no maximum limit.

“Managers of commercial fleets will take special notice, as the sector is at high risk due to the disproportionately high number of road accidents in which its drivers are involved*,” explains Blackburn.

“There are a bewildering number of factors to consider while running a fleet, but managers can’t afford to overlook health and safety. Ever. That’s why a technological solution is required to help simplify the process and stay connected.

“Telematics technology can help save lives. Aside from saving fuel and money, it enables fleet managers to monitor and improve health and safety in a number of ways, including: better training, more breaks, safer driving conditions, safer working conditions, less stress and fairer distribution of work.”

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