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Company fined after driver died at wheel

1 July 2006

AIRSO recently reported that an employer had been fined for breaching Health & Safety legislation when one of its employees died behind the wheel having been working for long hours. The offence, thought to be the first of its kind cost the firm £30,000 plus £24,000 costs and has serious implications for companies who know their employees work long hours either while driving or in the office and do nothing to manage the practice. This employee died when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car on the way home after working 76 hours in four days, drifting into the path of an oncoming lorry.

There is an important issue also that it makes no difference whether the vehicle is own by the company or the individual.

Changes to the law in respect of Corporate Manslaughter in the near future could have even more serious consequences for employers if they do not seek to manage the road risk of their employees and indeed themselves.